Weight Loss Support - If sugar is addictive - why try and eat it "moderately"




jdpgolfer
01-25-2014, 09:30 PM
Hello,

By sugar, I mean all sugar... white flour, bread, beer, muffins, bagels, donuts, vanilla wafers, graham crackers, etc...

I've been trying to lose weight FORVER. I work out like crazy but to no avail. I've come to believe that my body is completely addicted to sugar. It seeks it in so many forms (listed above). I've recently adopted an eating plan that gets rid of those foods from my diet and the result is .... I am no longer craving sugar. No longer having cravings. No longer have huge swings in blood sugar.

Here's my question? Since most of us folks needing lose weight have some type of addiction / dependancy on sugar (in all forms) WHY WOULD WE EVER EAT IT AGAIN?

The analogy I keep thinking of is an alcoholic. Most people on earth can drink 2 beers and stop. Alcoholics can't - for whatever reason... The solution for alcoholism is complete abstiance (FOREVER). We don't tell them "good job on being clean for 2 weeks, now go out and drink moderately"... We tell them that they can no longer safely drink alcohol ever again.

Back to me... I've lost weight in the past and it always has something to do with limiting sugar (in all forms). I have stuck to it for a bit, lost weight, then stopped being "so fanatical" and start eating "normal" - birthday cake, dessert, breadsticks, etc... the result of that is ALWAYS a slippery slope right back to all of the foods I ate that made me fat. The reslut of that - was gaining weight AGAIN and needing to diet again...

Here's the question. Point blank. If eating sugar makes you fat, why do we ever lie to ourselves and say we can "eat it normally"? It would be like saying "from now on, I am only going to smoke crack at birthday parties or during football games -and I'm always going to limit it to one hit...

Second question: Is not eating sugar (in all forms) sustainable? Meaning, lean meats, cheese's, veggies, non sugary fruit, nuts, and eggs.

Would love to hear feedback.


Chardonnay
01-25-2014, 09:53 PM
Not eating sugar in all forms may be nearly impossible if you eat fruit especially. There are natural sugars in most fruits and veggies. I think that it's the refined sugar that some people find addicting, but I'm no expert. All I know is once I cut down on the chocolate consumption, I crave it less, I still eat it once in a while, but don't have that overwhelming desire to binge.

hhm6
01-25-2014, 11:09 PM
I think for me, I like to think I have a severe sugar addiction, more so in that I look for the bad sugary stuff like cakes, donuts, anything little-freakin-debbie makes!! ugh! but anyway, for me when I tell myself I can have it once a week, I'm more likely to be diligent and stay on my diet than to avoid it completely.

But I see your point! It would be much easier to avoid the fallback on sugar if you were to avoid it completely, I still have to develop that will power!!


kaplods
01-25-2014, 11:30 PM
The short answer is that not everyone believes in sugar addiction. Or they see it as an addiction in which moderation is preferable to abstainence such as many view shopping and sexual addictions.

The spending addict could hand all their money over to someone else so they never have to deal with money ever again. A sex addict could swear off all sex, even with their spouse... and others will decide that moderation should at least be attempted before aiming for absolute abstinence.

There are cases of many addictions in which absolute abstinence is not feasible, desireable, or practical. A person with an addiction to narcotic pain medication, may still need to be treated periodically with such pain meds. The benefits of pain relief will have to be weighed against the costs and risks.

Sugar certainly isn't a necessity, but many people are able to use moderately (I'm probably not one of them).

TooManyDimples
01-26-2014, 12:29 AM
Good post. Sugar addiction is very real and it very much sucks. It's a huge factor in the obesity epidemic. People didn't used to eat the way we do now. Sugar is an everyday, sometimes every meal thing for most people. My mom used to tell me when she was a kid they would hardly have dessert. It was usually reserved for special occasions like birthdays.

It is definitely easier for me to focus on eating right for weight loss when I seriously reduce my carb intake. And the longer I do it, the easier it gets. You go through sugar withdrawal, little grumpy, headaches, but once you get past that it's easier to just completely pass on sugar because it's not in your system making you crave more of it.

I'm really going to strive to reduce high carb and processed foods from my diet this year, and I'm hoping it will be the year I finally figure this out, get to goal weight, and stay there.

Now will I never eat sugar again? Yeah right, sugar is yummy, sugar makes us happy, I will eat sugar again. The goal is to make sugar an occasional thing. I have a glass of wine every now and then, I cook a really expensive cut of beef every now and then, it would do everyone a lot of good if they consumed sugar every now and then.

Samantha18
01-26-2014, 03:58 AM
Whether or not cutting sugar is sustainable probably depends on the person. I've heard of success stories where people have eaten everything in moderation, where others found success with avoiding their triggering foods altogether. Whichever path you choose, it should be the one you personally know you can stick to better. I could probably give up something for a year or so, but I know that if I ate it again years down the road, I would gain weight back and not be able to control myself around it. So it's better for me to just use moderation, calorie count, and not make any foods off limits.

I don't know if I ever had a sugar addiction, but in the beginning of my journey, I did NOT want to give up white carbs (pasta, bread, etc...). I constantly craved them and even had mini-breakdowns because I wanted them so bad. I eventually switched to whole wheat, and to cutting back on them a little (eating them with one meal a day instead of every meal), and now I can eat sugar, white flour, and processed food in moderation (I ate one little chocolate covered flipz pretzel the other day and was satisfied), whereas a year ago, I couldn't have. Moderation worked for me so far, but for someone with a serious sugar addiction, I can see where cutting it out altogether would be the best way to go. They add sugar in the least suspecting things, and so many foods are loaded with sugar that don't need it. Food is just scary these days.

nelie
01-26-2014, 07:28 AM
For me, sugar was never an addiction. Cheese was an addiction for me and I dropped that like a hot potato at the beginning of my weight loss. Cheese was also something that required transport foods of bread or crackers. Once I dropped cheese, I stopped eating crackers and I ate bread moderately and specific kinds of bread.

Sure, I love chocolate and I still eat chocolate, dark chocolate. I eat bread but now I bake the bread I eat for the most part. I eat fruit. I also eat a lot of veggies, legumes, whole grains (rice, etc) and what not.

I think one important thing for me was having PCOS and learning about glycemic load (and glycemic index). So focusing on foods that helped keep an even blood sugar level helped me tremendously.

GlamourGirl827
01-26-2014, 08:03 AM
I think there have already been a lot fo great replies. I think it depends on the person. Not everyone needing to lose weight has a surgar addiction, like Nellie pointed out. And some may not have as severe of an addiction and can handle it in moderation.
I have given up sugar over the years and when I do (after withdrawl) I feel so much better, more energetic, less moody, and my craving all but disappear. Then I think "oh I can have this one cookie"..and all come crashing down. My addiction is quite severe unfortunately and I'm seeing that even fruit will cause me to start to have cravings again.

Some perople might be about to handle sugar in moderation, or some might be where I was for all these years...in a place where I needed to give up sugar to succeed but not ready to make the lifestyle changes to do so. I wanted to have my cake and eat it too lol in other words lose weight while still ahving all my sweets in moderation...I wanted to be "normal" at bday parties, but the truth is i'm not, so I'm going to have to pass on the cake.

Here's an intersting thing though. While a sugar addict...I do not get addicted to cigarettes, which are highly addictive. I smoked as a teen because it was "cool" then...on and off (a few day day, maybe 1/2 pack one day then none) from maybe 16 - 19 y/o, then started smoking about 1/2 pack a day then just stopped ...I don't remember details because it was so long ago, but I would just start and stop, never an issue, I never craved a cigarette, I just liked them. I did this until maybe 24 then stopped cold turkey...just one day was like eh, this is not healthy, ned to stop. Then a few years ago, started to have them socially around other smoking friends, maybe once or twice a year tops. I really enjpy smoking! I know it bad but Its relaxing...its like another form of a glass of wine. I am at a point where I dont drink often but I do enoy the treat.

When we went away a few years ago, I smoked for the 2 weeks we were on vacation, then just stopped when we came home. So go figure. I have met a few other people over the years that do not form an addiction to cigarettes, but most people I know, once the quit they cannot start again, it has to be 100% abstenance.

Anyway just intersting how our brains are wired differently. I cannot do that with sugar...one piece of cake and I will be craving it for days (weeks) after and thinking about more sweets and its awful.

diamondgeog
01-26-2014, 08:20 AM
Sugar/carbs were my addiction. It isn't just sugar IMO because carbs break down to glucose right away. Breads can have higher glycemic index than candy bars. Condiments have a ton of 'hidden' sugar and carbs also. People need to be aware of that.

I do agree with you that for me I needed a cold turkey period. But I've found now that I can occasionally have fries, candy bar, ice cream, and I get no cravings or relapses. But except for occasional fries, candy and ice cream almost feels 'gross' to me now. And bread really does. I was having an occasional sandwich but not now.

I do basically agree that going cold turkey was invaluable to me. But perhaps unlike alcohol my body metabolism and brain pathways have seemed to change enough that I am no longer addicted even when I have some now. But I could not have gotten there without the cold turkey period.

Locke
01-26-2014, 02:01 PM
I eat sugary foods maybe once or twice a week now as a treat. I try to stick to low carb as much as possible. If I eat a high carb food it's a few times a week and it's a potato with my dinner. So far it works for me. It's harder to give up meat and fat for me to be honest.

Koshka
01-26-2014, 02:05 PM
Well, I'm not addicted to sugar. I do try to avoid added sugar because it is basically empty calories. However, if an otherwise healthy food has a gram or two of added sugar it doesn't bother me. And, of course, certain foods that really are good for you (think fruit) have natural sugar in them.

But, the greater point is that I can eat some amount of sugar and I don't feel compelled to eat more. There are certain foods (with sugar as well as others) that I don't buy for my house since I don't want to overeat and they have no real benefits to eating them (other than taste).

diamondgeog
01-26-2014, 02:51 PM
I was thinking more about this and I am not sure I was ever a 'sugar addict'. More like a carb addict. Potato chips were my carb of choice. I could eat a whole can of Pringles in a sitting or a 5 ounce bag.

And I eat a lot of fast food, bread, and pasta. I could also eat a bunch of ice cream and Reses cups. But potato chips were my 'drug' of choice. Frosting and sweet have always been way too sweet to me. Now candy is too sweet for me. But my carb loading drove everything. It kept me perpetually hungry and lethargic.

jdpgolfer
01-26-2014, 05:21 PM
Great replies guys. I really appreciate it! By sugar I meant high GI foods like fries, potato chips, white pasta w/ sugery sauce, and all deserts. It's funny when I look at my eating history I was a "side guy". Sure I loved steak, and the like, but I much preferred the bread, fries, potato's, chips, etc... It's my understanding that those things basically break down into surgar immediately.

So, I'm on day 5 1/2 and have been doing well. It's actually crazy not living with "the carb monkey on my back".

Talk to you all soon - thanks for the support!

Wannabeskinny
01-26-2014, 05:38 PM
By sugar, I mean all sugar... white flour, bread, beer, muffins, bagels, donuts, vanilla wafers, graham crackers, etc...

Here's my question? Since most of us folks needing lose weight have some type of addiction / dependancy on sugar (in all forms) WHY WOULD WE EVER EAT IT AGAIN?



Wait a minute wait a minute. White flour is NOT sugar. Bread is NOT sugar. You will have to understand the difference between sugar and carbs before you go throwing everything out the window.

I'm not a scientist, and I've found the right way to lose weight --> now all I have to do is stick to it, stay within my caloric range and watch as the weight comes off. What you're doing is calling all food "bad food" and wondering why you can't stay away from it. You can't stay away from all food, that's impossible. Ok white flour is not as nutritious as whole wheat flour so stay away from that. Too much whole wheat flour aint' good for ya so limit it. But you can't say no to flour because it's a carb and then eat vegetables, because those are carbs too. And if you want to eat fruit, forget about it.

For me it all comes down to making better choices. An apple instead of a slice of cake. Only one carb per meal (can't have a sandwich AND fries, it's only one or the other). Just yesterday I went with a friend to Ruby Tuesday's and I order the grilled shrimp and my two sides were french fries and steamed broccoli. As we were waiting for our food the waiter brings over cheesy biscuits and I promptly said no thank you. He looked at us and said "too many carbs, I get it" and we had a good laugh. But I still got to eat my fries. Moderation is key if I'm going to maintain my sanity.

White flour can be addictive, but it is NOT sugar and calling it sugar is not helping your cause.

Locke
01-26-2014, 05:58 PM
Wait a minute wait a minute. White flour is NOT sugar. Bread is NOT sugar. You will have to understand the difference between sugar and carbs before you go throwing everything out the window.

I understood OP to mean food items that are broken down largely into sugars. Starches are simply long chains of sugar that are broken down by the body into glucose. This makes sense especially given the fact that the glycemic index is being referenced, which shows which foods spike blood sugars more than others.

Mad Donnelly
01-26-2014, 06:17 PM
I was thinking more about this and I am not sure I was ever a 'sugar addict'. More like a carb addict. Potato chips were my carb of choice. I could eat a whole can of Pringles in a sitting or a 5 ounce bag.

And I eat a lot of fast food, bread, and pasta. I could also eat a bunch of ice cream and Reses cups. But potato chips were my 'drug' of choice. Frosting and sweet have always been way too sweet to me. Now candy is too sweet for me. But my carb loading drove everything. It kept me perpetually hungry and lethargic.

Yep, all of this for me, too. I had never gone a long period of time without any sugar, grains, starches and I was really apprehensive what would happen the first time I did. Everyone said, Nothing. And, lo and behold, they were right. But I didn't use that as a stepping stone to allow myself to add them back in. I went cold turkey again ASAP after a week of not always being able to eat on plan. Sure, I did take an entire week to finish that bag of my favorite chips so now I know I can do it like a "thin" person; but I believe that "moderation" for me means every once in a while, not a little at a time.

Wait a minute wait a minute. White flour is NOT sugar. Bread is NOT sugar. You will have to understand the difference between sugar and carbs before you go throwing everything out the window
Trust me, anyone whose done low carb and knows what they're doing does not LITERALLY mean flour IS sugar or bread IS sugar or potatoes ARE sugar. It's just a quick way to acknowledge that high glycemic foods such as these -- including ACTUAL sugar -- metabolizes as glucose and causing higher blood sugar levels. I rankle at the thought that low carb almost ALWAYS gets interpreted as NO carb. I am finding "moderation" but in a way that works for me which means, for large parts of the time, I am completing abolishing sugar, grains, and starches. For me, those ARE inherently bad foods and I will continue to vilify them. And your Ruby Tuesday example sounds like something I might do, too, except I would eat a biscuit but not get the french fries because FF are not my favorite and yet previously, I would eat them just because they're there. Which is stupid and, to me, clearly an indication of an addiction to just eating without making a choice to eat.

Wannabeskinny
01-26-2014, 06:33 PM
I rankle at the thought that low carb almost ALWAYS gets interpreted as NO carb. I am finding "moderation" but in a way that works for me which means, for large parts of the time, I am completing abolishing sugar, grains, and starches. For me, those ARE inherently bad foods and I will continue to vilify them. And your Ruby Tuesday example sounds like something I might do, too, except I would eat a biscuit but not get the french fries because FF are not my favorite and yet previously, I would eat them just because they're there. Which is stupid and, to me, clearly an indication of an addiction to just eating without making a choice to eat.

I try not to vilify foods because it leads to binging. And I have my own reasons for getting fries instead of the biscuit -- Potatoes don't make me as crazy as wheat does. It doesn't mean wheat is a bad food, it's just that I have to be careful not to eat too much of it, because it spikes my appetite. And I too would eat that biscuit if it was just there (I mean the dude brought it to me without me even asking for it!) which is why I had to make him take it away.

divinechaos
01-26-2014, 06:56 PM
That makes so much sense.
Mind=blown.

Alcohols never drink alcohol again. Carboholics should never eat carbs again.

diamondgeog
01-26-2014, 07:09 PM
Glycemic index was very important for me to understand. And that whole wheat products can spike blood sugar more than candy bars.

I think it is important for people to not just focus on sugars but carbs also. I call bread cotton candy.

Interestingly though the GI does have a flaw: fructose doesn't show up but can have its own problems. Dr. Lusting points out GI measures rise in glucose. Fructose is only a 19!

But rising fructose has its own harm pathways in our bodies. I am not anti-fruit (fruit juices I am). But good to be aware.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/oct/21/fructose-poison-sugar-industry-pseudoscience

Jaymie77
01-26-2014, 07:28 PM
Everyone is different. I need to consciously avoid white flour, sugar, soda, processed food to be successful at losing weight.

For me, those types of foods ARE addictive....and I end up 'needing' more and more to be satisfied, but actually never really do feel satisfied.

I'm sure it's not that way for every overweight person; but for me 'abstaining' from simple carbs is a must.

Suzanne 3FC
01-26-2014, 07:42 PM
I don't think that most people with weight issues are addicted to sugar, but some are. The reasons we battle weight can be very individual and personal, and can vary widely from one person to another. I've known a lot of people that could eat all foods in moderation and reach (and maintain) a healthy weight.

My personal issue with sugar is the lack of nutrients in it, so I don't think it's calories spent well. I'm referring to added sugar, not the sugars that naturally occur in fruits, veggies, etc. I eat a lot of fruit and I search out the darkest types since they contain more antioxidants, etc. My eating style does not completely exclude added sugar, but it strictly limits it. I retrained my sweet tooth and no longer crave sweets. I don't use artificial sweeteners, either. A bowl of fresh fruit can be very satisfying.

Regarding carbs - Food can be generalized as protein, fat, or carbs. Unfortunately, people that refer to how evil carbs are are usually referring to specific foods such as white bread, added sugar, etc. Carbs are also broccoli, carrots, salad, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, berries, and so on. All the foods that contain fiber, vitamins, minerals, and thousands of phytonutrients and antioxidants are carbs and they can help us live long and healthy lives. To me, the idea of reducing them is very scary.

Some plant foods are low in nutrients, such as many grains and starchy vegetables, and of course sugar. Reducing or eliminating them isn't necessarily a bad thing for many people, especially those with weight or health issues. Unfortunately, when people lump all plant foods together as 'carbs', it becomes confusing to newer dieters or even seasoned dieters with health issues, and they may end up avoiding some of the healthiest foods on the planet.

That's just my personal viewpoint :)

freelancemomma
01-26-2014, 07:59 PM
Since most of us folks needing lose weight have some type of addiction / dependancy on sugar (in all forms) WHY WOULD WE EVER EAT IT AGAIN?
Second question: Is not eating sugar (in all forms) sustainable? Meaning, lean meats, cheese's, veggies, non sugary fruit, nuts, and eggs.
Would love to hear feedback.

Everyone is different. I've never considered myself addicted to sugar. I just love good food in all its forms. My brief foray into low carb left me not hungry but not satisfied, either. This time around I've been maintaining a 50-pound loss for 2+ years on a high-carb diet, including lots of bread products and some sugar. I'd rather eat "bad" carbs in moderation than not eat them at all, and I'm able to do that. People who find it next to impossible to stop at one bagel or oatmeal cookie will obviously do better with a different strategy.

F.

freelancemomma
01-26-2014, 08:06 PM
When we went away a few years ago, I smoked for the 2 weeks we were on vacation, then just stopped when we came home. So go figure. I have met a few other people over the years that do not form an addiction to cigarettes, but most people I know, once the quit they cannot start again, it has to be 100% abstenance.

I'm the same way. I smoke when I'm out of town on business trips. Before I get on the return flight, I throw out any remaining cigarettes and forget about smoking until the next trip, which might be a couple of months later. Having these clear boundaries is a way for me to continue to enjoy occasional smoking without jeopardizing my health or becoming a social pariah.

F.

Wannabeskinny
01-26-2014, 08:37 PM
Suzanne I agree that going completely carb free is scary. It's actually pretty ridiculous. I consider myself low carb and try to make wise choices over which carbs I will allow. But I always wonder what the heck people are thinking when they cut carrots out of their diet. I can't even imagine a healthy existence without carrots!

lucindaarrowspark
01-26-2014, 09:06 PM
I am a self diagnosed sugar addict, but I prefer my sugar to be in the form of complex carbohydrates like who;e wheat pasta, bread and brown rice. I can not eat those foods without over indulging and then with in amonth I am back to eating vegan icer cream , nuts and raisins and dried figs, apricots etc... I know that I am a sugar addict because I also gravitate to booze. So now that I have shook my sugar monkey my gums feel better, my ankle stopped throbbing and low and behold my afternoon crash, mood swing and asthma has dissipated! The scale is slowly moving downward so I am committing once more to licking this addiction once and for all.

nelie
01-26-2014, 10:11 PM
Our bodies run on glucose as a primary source which is why we are geared towards it. I eat plenty of carbs, mostly high fiber, high nutrient carbs. I prefer whole grains, fruits, legumes, veggies, etc.

I would say I like eating in general though. It can be a huge salad and I'll say I can eat and eat and eat. Sure I like high calorie things, but I like low calorie things as well. Improving my eating and monitoring my portions is what makes the difference for me, not cutting out high carb foods.

rubidoux
01-27-2014, 01:41 AM
Wait a minute wait a minute. White flour is NOT sugar. Bread is NOT sugar. You will have to understand the difference between sugar and carbs before you go throwing everything out the window.

I'm not a scientist, and I've found the right way to lose weight --> now all I have to do is stick to it, stay within my caloric range and watch as the weight comes off. What you're doing is calling all food "bad food" and wondering why you can't stay away from it. You can't stay away from all food, that's impossible. Ok white flour is not as nutritious as whole wheat flour so stay away from that. Too much whole wheat flour aint' good for ya so limit it. But you can't say no to flour because it's a carb and then eat vegetables, because those are carbs too. And if you want to eat fruit, forget about it.

For me it all comes down to making better choices. An apple instead of a slice of cake. Only one carb per meal (can't have a sandwich AND fries, it's only one or the other). Just yesterday I went with a friend to Ruby Tuesday's and I order the grilled shrimp and my two sides were french fries and steamed broccoli. As we were waiting for our food the waiter brings over cheesy biscuits and I promptly said no thank you. He looked at us and said "too many carbs, I get it" and we had a good laugh. But I still got to eat my fries. Moderation is key if I'm going to maintain my sanity.

White flour can be addictive, but it is NOT sugar and calling it sugar is not helping your cause.

I kinda wish you could walk a mile in my shoes! Sigh...

Anyhow... white flour and potatoes and bread are sugar after you've eaten them. You can call them carbs when they're outside your body, but once they're on the inside they are glucose and that is SUGAR plain and simple.

Suzanne I agree that going completely carb free is scary. It's actually pretty ridiculous. I consider myself low carb and try to make wise choices over which carbs I will allow. But I always wonder what the heck people are thinking when they cut carrots out of their diet. I can't even imagine a healthy existence without carrots!

And I wish I had the freedom to think this way. I admit there was a time when I thought it was crazy to do something like eat mostly meat, let alone NOT EAT CARROTS! OMG! But here I am after many years of struggling with my weight finally having realized that I basically cannot eat carbs at all in any form if I want to lose. I lose fine if I'm under about 12 grams a day -- but that doesn't really allow for any veggies to speak of. I might be able to have a few greens, but not a decent sized salad or a cup of broccoli or, god forbid, carrots, if I want to lose. And ya know what, I have been eating super clean for the entire month of january, under 12 g every day and probably averaging about 1000 calories a day (today, for instance, I clocked in at exactly 1000) -- no grains at all, no treats/sugar, no fruit, but I have been eating broccoli and yellow summer squash and had a small salad last night. And even though I am still about 25, maybe 30, pounds from my ideal weight I have not lost a single pound. And I've been working out like a maniac. Sigh... But there is this piece of me that says that I *deserve* to be able to have broccoli! lol Hopefully I'll get over that soon and give it up again because I'm starting to feel like there's nothing worse than a broccoli stall. If I'm going to be stalled I should be enjoying some chocolate cake.

I have to tell you that it is not ridiculous if it is what it takes to get you to goal. I do not believe that I am healthier eating broccoli at 200-some pounds than I am not eating broccoli and able to sit comfortably in a chair and walk up a hill. And if I'm wrong about that, I'll tell you that my quality of life is a whole lot better this way.

hhm6
01-27-2014, 03:07 AM
I kinda wish you could walk a mile in my shoes! Sigh...

Anyhow... white flour and potatoes and bread are sugar after you've eaten them. You can call them carbs when they're outside your body, but once they're on the inside they are glucose and that is SUGAR plain and simple.



And I wish I had the freedom to think this way. I admit there was a time when I thought it was crazy to do something like eat mostly meat, let alone NOT EAT CARROTS! OMG! But here I am after many years of struggling with my weight finally having realized that I basically cannot eat carbs at all in any form if I want to lose. I lose fine if I'm under about 12 grams a day -- but that doesn't really allow for any veggies to speak of. I might be able to have a few greens, but not a decent sized salad or a cup of broccoli or, god forbid, carrots, if I want to lose. And ya know what, I have been eating super clean for the entire month of january, under 12 g every day and probably averaging about 1000 calories a day (today, for instance, I clocked in at exactly 1000) -- no grains at all, no treats/sugar, no fruit, but I have been eating broccoli and yellow summer squash and had a small salad last night. And even though I am still about 25, maybe 30, pounds from my ideal weight I have not lost a single pound. And I've been working out like a maniac. Sigh... But there is this piece of me that says that I *deserve* to be able to have broccoli! lol Hopefully I'll get over that soon and give it up again because I'm starting to feel like there's nothing worse than a broccoli stall. If I'm going to be stalled I should be enjoying some chocolate cake.

I have to tell you that it is not ridiculous if it is what it takes to get you to goal. I do not believe that I am healthier eating broccoli at 200-some pounds than I am not eating broccoli and able to sit comfortably in a chair and walk up a hill. And if I'm wrong about that, I'll tell you that my quality of life is a whole lot better this way.


Hi Rubidoux!!!! I haven't seen you around here in awhile?! Or maybe I haven't been checking the boards enough. Glad to see your ticker is going down. Mine has been all over the place in the upward direction =(

Anyway, sorry to derail the thread!! Just wanted to say, I think eating carbs even a little is what starts my cravings for sugar, maybe it's in my head, but I know by avoiding bread/rice/pasta (wheat/white), I can def lose weight faster! It's just being able to eliminate them that is hard for me.

freelancemomma
01-27-2014, 09:15 AM
And ya know what, I have been eating super clean for the entire month of january, under 12 g every day and probably averaging about 1000 calories a day (today, for instance, I clocked in at exactly 1000) -- no grains at all, no treats/sugar, no fruit, but I have been eating broccoli and yellow summer squash and had a small salad last night. And even though I am still about 25, maybe 30, pounds from my ideal weight I have not lost a single pound. And I've been working out like a maniac.

Wow. I'm not doubting you, but that seems so hard to believe! Have you been to a doctor?

F.

Wannabeskinny
01-27-2014, 09:30 AM
rubidoux, that really does sound very difficult. It's hard for me to imagine that vegetables are bad for you so I don't follow any diet that requires me to omit them.... well I did once do Atkins for a couple of weeks and it was the most terrible time of my life. I was an angry maniac and was so constipated I was in pain.

Eating vegetables in raw and cooked form is a life saver for me. If I go 3 days without eat some raw veg I immediately notice a difference in how I feel and how my skin looks. I'm very vain, I never mess around with my skin lol.

pixelllate
01-27-2014, 09:32 AM
I think that it is because various people fall into different categories and few know exactly what category they fall in – whether they will do better with total abstinence, or they aren’t carb or sugar or whatever sensitive (most people I know aren’t) or they are carb-addicts but not food addicts so they can manage their weight and eat carbs. Since people enjoy the act of eating carbs (um the conventional standard of what we think of when we mean carbs I don’t mean like all foods that contain carbs), it seems worth the “risk” of going for moderation and seeing if they fit into the “could live with moderation” category and trying to maintain them in the diet. Heck, I was an abstainer and for the most part I am, but I still work in days like vacation with carbs cause I like the “rush” it gives me to eat them – even the friggin plainest Saltine. If I can experience the euphoria AND maintain the weight?! JACKPOT. (so far my efforts have been relatively successful…after a period of abstinence and I can go back to low-carb afterwards). If lets say that cracker to me was as appealing as a…brussel sprout (TO ME haha) sure I’d do abstinent on that right away! I think that saying no 100% is a great option for some people, but I think that many agree that if they could choose in the first place to not have that addictive notion in the first place, they would. Well, I would. LOL

diamondgeog
01-27-2014, 09:36 AM
Our bodies run on glucose as a primary source which is why we are geared towards it. I eat plenty of carbs, mostly high fiber, high nutrient carbs. I prefer whole grains, fruits, legumes, veggies, etc.

I would say I like eating in general though. It can be a huge salad and I'll say I can eat and eat and eat. Sure I like high calorie things, but I like low calorie things as well. Improving my eating and monitoring my portions is what makes the difference for me, not cutting out high carb foods.

I posted something in the Men's Corner about NBA teams and players going low carb. I also posted something from cycling forums about it.

I found this link fascinating:

http://cyclingtips.com.au/2013/08/high-fat-low-carb-diets-good-for-you-and-your-cycling/

Fat is actually in many ways a better source for fuel than glucose. It has more calories, more fuel, per gram. It turns out you can be 'fat adapted'. You can be better at using fat as fuel. I personally have never eating lower amounts of carbs and I have never been more 'powerful' physically or had better endurance.

I do agree with Suzanne that there should be a better phrase on carbs. I know people use 'smart carbs' and I like that. I am still cautious of some fruit. I try not to have too many grapes and bananas. I can eat a lot of those. Most other fruit is self-regulating, it fills me up. And I've cut out fruit juice for me and my family completely, 100%.

It is very scary the sugar in fruit juices. Even the ones that say no added sugar.

nelie
01-27-2014, 12:56 PM
I posted something in the Men's Corner about NBA teams and players going low carb. I also posted something from cycling forums about it.

I found this link fascinating:

http://cyclingtips.com.au/2013/08/high-fat-low-carb-diets-good-for-you-and-your-cycling/

Fat is actually in many ways a better source for fuel than glucose. It has more calories, more fuel, per gram. It turns out you can be 'fat adapted'. You can be better at using fat as fuel. I personally have never eating lower amounts of carbs and I have never been more 'powerful' physically or had better endurance.


I think endurance athletes are a bit different from us regular folk in general. Having said that, I've seen a lot from endurance athletes who definitely carb it up and have seen performance increases. I recently read about an elderly couple who ran a marathon every day for a month as part of a charity event and they ate primarily bananas. Also, I recently read Scott Jurek's book about his ultra running career (he has set many ultra running records) and he talks about the foods he eats while running and they are a lot of complex carbs, even bean burritos as one of his staples. The problem I have even with the endurance athletes that are eating tons of bananas to emulate their favorite endurance athletes are that they aren't endurance athletes themselves. Someone who runs a race for 16 hours at a 7 minute mile pace isn't really relevant to my life. It is interesting to read nonetheless.

diamondgeog
01-27-2014, 01:09 PM
Well my take away from the article was this. For almost everyone on the planet they can lower their carbs and perform just as well if not better in their activities. If you are a weekend warrior or frankly what 99%+ of the users of 3FC are in relation to activity you can do just fine on lowering carbs.

Your body will get more efficient at using fat. So if lowering carbs helps you reach other health and weight goals you will still have fuel from your activities. The second part which is linked to in my above link was fascinating how the person who was not low carb before became better and better at using fat as fuel as they changed their diet.

Now if you are a world class sprinter, world class swimmer, world class sprint cyclist then yes you may perform better with higher carbs. Maybe even if you are a weekend warrior who 'sprints' 5Ks. But for the majority of people my takeaway was low carbs still provides abundant fuel for activities. And as you transition away your body gets better and better.

I was very encouraged by this. Even a lot of NBA athletes who need explosive energy are finding they can dramatically reduce carbs in their daily lives and perform better. And that is their livelihood, athletic performance.

I got Jurek's book as well. It is a Kindle book of the month deal now. Can't wait to try making a huge batch of his lentil burgers. Seems like they will be awesome. And yes of course complex carbs and especially veggies have a big positive role in anyone's life. But I think there was this big mantra among professional athletes and then it trickled down to everyone 'carb loading' and it was just accepted as fact.

So I found those articles fascinating. Why? For me because I heard a lot about carb loading growing up but ZERO about fat adapting growing up. Zero until reading those articles actually.

And I agree with you that there isn't one way to skin a fruit. You can carb load and run marathons. But previously I think a lot of people thought they HAD to. So the articles were really interesting saying hey you more than likely do not have to. The general belief is still carb loading. So I really find these articles valuable.

nelie
01-27-2014, 01:38 PM
As in everything, we are all an experiment of one. I think tweaking, reading, testing, etc and finding out what works for you is important. I started my weight loss journey over 8 years ago and it has been filled with losses, lots of maintenance and some gain. I will say I've experimented a lot, I learned a lot and for me personally, I feel better with a high carb diet.

slmon
01-27-2014, 06:41 PM
If refined sugar isn't technically addictive, it's the next thing to it. I used to be willing to inconvenience myself to go out and get it. Now, I have a mix of fruit, Greek yogurt and frozen yogurt pops. A chocolate bar is just an occasional thing for me now.

rubidoux
01-27-2014, 06:56 PM
Wow. I'm not doubting you, but that seems so hard to believe! Have you been to a doctor?

F.

Yes, I have had a couple of endocrinologists tell me that it's basically impossible for a t1 diabetic to lose weight, but that was before I lost 60 pounds. lol I am feeling a little dispair over my current situation, having a hard time believing I will ever see a number under 150. But there was a time that I was nearly certain that I couldn't lose weight at all. I spent many years adding veg and limiting meat, fat, dairy more and more. I figured out that a diet of pure meat and fat would cause me to lose completely by accident. I wasn't even doing it in the hopes of losing bc who woulda thought the veggies were *bad* for my weight loss?!!! So I will just have to figure this out and possibly go back to the diet that I lost the first 40 on, which was nothing but bacon, hamburger, a small amount of cheddar (1.5 ounces per day) and heavy whipping cream. I do hope, though, that I will be able to maintain while eating at least some veg. I have been able to maintain at a BMI of about 29 while eating a little veg, but no loss.

And ITA, for those of us who don't automatically lose when we eat less, it can be a constant n=1 experiment where the parameters are constantly changing and new obstacles are thrown in your path. Makes me want to scream when I hear phrases like "eat right" and the like. If only everything we learned about food in the 70's were true -- bc when they say eat right you know 99% of the time they mean lots of veg and whe grains and fruit and low fat.

On the bright side, though, I was actually a pound down this morning for the first time in weeks. I'll get there...

HuggerBunny
01-28-2014, 09:27 PM
So, I have a question. If some people believe sugar is addictive, and that non-sweet carb laden foods such as bread, pasta, rice, and potatoes are basically sugar because they break down to be essentially the same thing in the body, then why are some people extremely fond of bread, pasta, etc but can completely control themselves around candy and desserts? If it was an addiction, I'd think the form of the sugar wouldn't matter so much and that ice cream or even cake (since it has flour in it) would be just as irresistible as cornbread or steamed rice.

Can anyone explain? I ask this as someone who enjoys sweet things, but 99% of the time can completely self-regulate with them. Bread, potatoes and the like are a different story- savory carbs (and I don't mean excessively processed ones like Pringles or something) have always been my favorite thing to eat. Until recently, it's always been hard to only have a small spoonful of mac and cheese or one dinner roll. Really though, I'm not sure if it's hard because I feel a "need" to have more carbs, or if it's just that I like them a lot.

Side note- I've improved a lot since I've changed the way I eat 3 months ago. I've extremely reduced all starchy/grain based carbohydrates and most of the time don't have a problem with eating just 1 tortilla chip (ingredients being corn, oil, and salt- nothing freaky) or a small bite of my husband's pizza. One meal a week I do allow myself a meal where I can have whatever I want. I almost always pick a bowl of mac and cheese, a glass of orange juice, and a cookie or a bit of candy for dessert! I've also been able to keep my favorite carb laden foods in the house for my husband and have only dipped into them when I wasn't supposed to a couple of times.

mars735
01-28-2014, 10:04 PM
Another variable in the discussion of the possibly addictive nature of sugar and/or carbs is sweetness. I recently spent 7-8 months on a restricted calorie, low carb diet (20-30 grams/day) and acquired a taste for Splenda (sucralose) products.

Before the diet, I never sweetened my coffee. Since, I use vanilla protein shake as a lightener and don't tolerate the old non-sweetened coffee. I'm really stuck on Mio, a sucralose water flavor additive that leaves a mildly sweet aftertaste. I go through the day feeling as if I just had some candy. I'm stuck on these things now when I normally avoid artificially colored and sweetened things as much as possible. I used to be a poly-carb offender getting into trouble with both sweets and savories. Now sweets definitely appeal more, whether or not they have sugar.

Recently the NY Times had an article describing an experiment in which lab rats preferred sugar to cocaine. Noted obesity researcher Robert Lustig says that the same reward center in the brain "lights up" when subjects have either sugar or heroin. He suggests artificial sweeteners may be addictive.

nelie
01-28-2014, 10:29 PM
Recently the NY Times had an article describing an experiment in which lab rats preferred sugar to cocaine.

If this was the one that came out in October, the experiment used Oreos which have a mix of fats and sugar, and I'm guessing sodium. The book, "The end of Overeating" talks about the powerful triad of fats, sugar and salt. It isn't just sugar alone that creates an addictive pathway but you combine all 3, which many processed foods do, and it can have an addictive effect on people.

pixelllate
01-28-2014, 10:30 PM
Can anyone explain? I ask this as someone who enjoys sweet things, but 99% of the time can completely self-regulate with them. Bread, potatoes and the like are a different story- savory carbs (and I don't mean excessively processed ones like Pringles or something) have always been my favorite thing to eat. Until recently, it's always been hard to only have a small spoonful of mac and cheese or one dinner roll. Really though, I'm not sure if it's hard because I feel a "need" to have more carbs, or if it's just that I like them a lot.

Ugh I've always wondered why I feel so differently about bland/savory carbs like bread vs pie. Pie doesn't tempt me, bread does and yet I find bread to be bland/boring. I eat it and I feel my brain getting turned on but I don't think mmmm tasty like I would with a really good dessert. It totally trumps taste for me and I have no idea why.

mars735
01-28-2014, 10:37 PM
If this was the one that came out in October, the experiment used Oreos which have a mix of fats and sugar, and I'm guessing sodium. The book, "The end of Overeating" talks about the powerful triad of fats, sugar and salt. It isn't just sugar alone that creates an addictive pathway but you combine all 3, which many processed foods do, and it can have an addictive effect on people.

Thanks for the correction--I'm sure it's the same article. I made the leap that it was about the sugar.

nelie
01-29-2014, 07:56 AM
Thanks for the correction--I'm sure it's the same article. I made the leap that it was about the sugar.

Well I think what we see from this thread is that it seems to be the mixture of sugar/carbs and fat that most people find addictive. I mean very few people find fruit addictive but cookies, pasta, bread with butter, potato chips, candy bars, etc. usually all those have a mix of high carbs, fat and probably also sodium.

Wannabeskinny
01-29-2014, 08:58 AM
So, I have a question. If some people believe sugar is addictive, and that non-sweet carb laden foods such as bread, pasta, rice, and potatoes are basically sugar because they break down to be essentially the same thing in the body, then why are some people extremely fond of bread, pasta, etc but can completely control themselves around candy and desserts? If it was an addiction, I'd think the form of the sugar wouldn't matter so much and that ice cream or even cake (since it has flour in it) would be just as irresistible as cornbread or steamed rice.



I think sugar is addictive. I think refined carbs can lead to sugar cravings. That's how it works for me. But not for one second do I want to villainize carbs, no way. I'm not going down that road. Technically I feel better when I limit my carb intake and be mindful of it. Like I'm allowed to go crazy on a salad, but just one serving of potatoes please!

If carbs were really the problem then all of Italy (pasta), France (bread), Germany (potatoes), and Asia (rice) would have significant obesity problems. Yes, their obesity rates are growing too but it's not because of the national carb intake, it's because of processed food.

carter
01-29-2014, 09:43 AM
Even if sugar or other types of carbs are addictive the way alcohol can be addictive, different solutions for addiction work for different people.

You (OP) raise the analogy to alcoholism. But it is not a given that the only way to deal with alcoholism is complete abstinence. That is the approach advocated by AA and it is a popular approach, but it is not by any means the only one. There are people who consider themselves alcoholics and yet manage to drink occasionally and in moderation. You might know such people and never know that they fall in this category, because you have never noticed them conspicuously not drinking at a social event!

The same is true for food-related addictions. Some people who perceive their problem as a carb addiction might fare best with complet abstinence. Others might find a moderation approach works better for them and the lifestyle they want. Still others might not experience their relationship with carbs as addiction at all. There is no one-size-fits-all answer.

mars735
01-29-2014, 10:07 AM
Wise words indeed, Carter. I often find myself trying to fit my experience to the common wisdom, but it all too often doesn't apply. It's so helpful to read someone's words that line up with my reality--which is why I come to 3FC again and again.

A lot of 3FCers have found this book helpful, including me: Brain over Binge by Kathryn Hansen.

Pattience
01-29-2014, 10:22 AM
In response to the first post.
I would say not to include sugary fruit in your list of foods to avoid. We do crave something sweet but i have never found eating fruit has caused me to want to go and eat ice-cream or lollies or cakes. Its only refine sugars that at the problem and i don't mean ALL SUGARS. For me white bread is not a problem but i don't eat it all the time anyway. I prefer wholegrain bread. I know that white bread is not as satisfying as wholegrain bread. white bread has a high GI so its satiety benefit doesn't usually last long - unless you pick a white bread that sues hard flour which is the case with some if not most european breads. Sourdoughs are good. Its only the really lightweight white breads that tend to have no nutrition and cause problems.

Veggies also contain sugar as do dairy but i have never found any of these foods to cause me to want to eat ice-cream lollies and so on.

its better to exercise moderately and eat a sustainable calorie load than to rely on a lot of exercise to lose weight. The reason i say that is because i find i can't sustain regular exercise but if you can then, making your maintaining diet reliant on it is fine too.

So with my maintaining diet, i know i can't eat sugar moderately and i will have to have safeguards in place.

See my thread in the maintainers section for my tips. And there you can see what a couple of other people do to maintain as well. Its appears we are different. Some people can cope with sugar and some of us can't.

I would recommend reading up on the breakdown of carbohydrates and trying to get a more nuanced understanding of sugar in the diet as well. For instance a lot of people fret over sugar in milk and yoghurt. I would only fret about it when its actually added but not that which occurs naturally. So i avoid sweetened yoghurt.

mars735
01-29-2014, 10:34 AM
For me there are two issues with sugars. 1) refined sugars in processed foods, along with the fats, salt, and other additives, trigger cravings and those cravings reliably lead to binge-eating if I have the first bite, especially since dieting.

2) some carb-rich foods just make me very hungry after I eat them, though I can deal with this by eating more (as opposed to binging). I attribute this to insulin spike and feel better by avoiding them: grains of any type including anything with flour, bananas, the list goes on. I feel much more satisfied with beans, apples, berries, & quinoa instead of those foods. Not sure about dairy.

Mrs Snark
01-29-2014, 11:10 AM
I've personally found the going alot easier since I gave up trying to eat my trigger foods moderately. The whole concept of "moderation in all things" just doesn't work for me. But I wanted it to work very, very badly -- and because it DOES work for lots of people, I wanted very, very badly to BE one of those people. Unfortunately, I'm not.

Don't be afraid to tailor your eating style to YOU. After 45 years of trying to be other people, I am starting to accept who *I* am and what *MY* limitations are and learning to live (happily) in that framework.

I don't really care what a food's macro make up is. If it is a trigger for me, I don't eat it. If it isn't a trigger, I do eat it (if I like it, of course).

kaplods
01-29-2014, 01:21 PM
So, I have a question. If some people believe sugar is addictive, and that non-sweet carb laden foods such as bread, pasta, rice, and potatoes are basically sugar because they break down to be essentially the same thing in the body, then why are some people extremely fond of bread, pasta, etc but can completely control themselves around candy and desserts? If it was an addiction, I'd think the form of the sugar wouldn't matter so much and that ice cream or even cake (since it has flour in it) would be just as irresistible as cornbread or steamed rice.

Can anyone explain?


For the same reason that some people become addicted to shopping - cleaning - collecting and hoarding - sex - gambling - pain - body modifications such as tattoos, piercings, scarification or cosmetic surgery - self-injury such as cutting - drugs such as caffeine, nicoteine, marijuana, and even cocaine..... and others who indulge do not.

Substances and even behaviors can be physically addictive, psychologically addictive, or both. How addictive not only varies objectively, but also subjectively as well.

Force anyone to take a few doses of heroine or meth, and they'll likely become physically and psychologically addicted very quickly, in as little as one dose.

Marijuana is not heroine. Most people who use marijuana can do so occasionally, without becoming hooked.

Most people can use alcohol, even binge drinking occasionally, without becoming an alcoholic or problem drinker.

Anything that gives some type of pleasure or pain reduction can become a compulsive coping mechanism, but the pull can vary tremendously, and for countless reasons.

freelancemomma
01-29-2014, 04:01 PM
You (OP) raise the analogy to alcoholism. But it is not a given that the only way to deal with alcoholism is complete abstinence. That is the approach advocated by AA and it is a popular approach, but it is not by any means the only one. There are people who consider themselves alcoholics and yet manage to drink occasionally and in moderation.

Yeah, there's an approach called MM (Moderation Management) that seems to work for some problem drinkers. I wrote an article on the topic about 15 years ago.

Freelance

diamondgeog
01-30-2014, 01:11 PM
And if we needed any more reasons to give up sugar....here is a well-written article.

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/surprising-reasons-give-sugar/story?id=21659361

7 packets of sugar in a 12 ounce soda on average. And the diet stuff...egads, plenty of problems with those as well. I think slide 5 or 6 has a link to a good article on dangers of soda.