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I've been hopelessly addicted to the stuff for about a year now, and it's beginning to drive me batty.

I'm determined to stay off it for at least a few weeks while I train for a climbing trip next month.

Problem is, fruit is a huge trigger for my cravings, along with bread, nuts and milk.

These cravings are not a result of letting myself get too hungry; fortunately my regular diet never really seemed to suffer greatly as a result of my sugar addiction. I eat well, and often.

Does anyone have advice on how to stave off cravings for sweets?

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Verjuice,

I can't say for every case, but for me it took a few days to work. My cravings eventually subsided. When I was eating sugary stuff, the cravings often came in the afternoon or early evening, when the blood sugar spike caused by what I had at lunch had dipped enough to make me tired. Hang in there, and don't worry about fruit. Try peanuts for a snack too.

Good luck!

Lucy

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I went through hell with sugar. I'd crave it, eat it, then my blood sugar would spike, then plummet and I start craving it again. I was a mess. If I went more than a few hours without eating, I was practically psychotic. Up and down and up and down until I just couldn't take it anymore. Just cutting sugar out of my diet did nothing for me. It was all the blood spiking foods that fed the craving/vicious cycle: sugar, starch AND fruit. In other words, I went low carb. Please understand, I have NEVER advocated low carb to anyone. Up until now, I've just done my thing and kept my opinion to myself. It sounds, though, that you are in a similar situation to what I was going through. If so, the best way to beat the sugar blues is a low carb way of eating.

Low carbing pulled me off the glycemic roller coaster that wreaked havoc on my psyche for years. The weight loss has been a pleasant side effect, but the even emotional keel I've achieved has been priceless.

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I find, as you described, the craving is often for starchy foods such as bread. Try eating lower carb count products that will still satisfy the craving. Supermarkets have tons of low carb breads, most of which taste decent enough to kill the craving.

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I haven't eaten sugar or refined white flour in almost 11 months.I cook/bake with many different flours but thats a whole other story. It takes a few weeks and it is all a matter of control but it can be done. Both sugar and refined carbs can trigger cravings and increase the insulin levels in your body. If you can get past the 1st few weeks the cravings almost disapear. Cravings can reappear, but there small and controlable

Try replacing your sugar with splenda, unlike aspertine and all those other terrible sugar substitutes, splenda comes from sugar. There are alot of ways to satisfy those cravings without using sugar. Whip up some cream add sugar free jello. If you like chocolate add some cocoa to your cream.

Basically all you have to do is eat like a diabetic. Food information for diabetics are all over the web, so information is right at your finger tips.

I eat low carb myself. I do eat fruit, but only 2 servings a day. I actually just started incoporating fruit, after 11 months. I still stay away from the refined flours or anything made with them and sugar. I use hemp, oat, soy, vital wheat gluten, nut meal and protien isolate. I eat enough vegetables and salads to satisfy a small herd of cows and I prepare them in awide variety of ways. I relize that meat is carb free, but it is also high in saturated fats, so that is limited to serving sizes and I trim off all the unnnessisary fats. I use butter instead of margerine, not just because it taste 100% better, but also because of hydrogenation and trans fats. I also don't eat prepared deli meats or bacon because of the nitrogens. I have plenty of sliced meat in the fridge. I roast my own chicken, turkey, beef and pork and slice them up.

After 11 months of eating this way, I have lost 44 lbs, many, many inches. The reynaud syndrom that I had in my feet and hands have disapeared as well as the arthritis in my left foot, I have not had heartburn, gas or bloating. No headache (and I use to get them all the time) bad choleterol levels have dropped. I sleep through the night and so much more. Fat is stored around the belly area when insulin levels spike, that fat is gone. I could go on and on. But this is not a book writing post.

A little education and learning to prepare your old favorites in a new way takes some time, but it can be worth it in the end. I hope you conquer your food problems. I wish you the best of luck

Edited by chefs13 (log)
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Try replacing your sugar with splenda, unlike aspertine and all those other terrible sugar substitutes, splenda comes from sugar.

Sugar that's been manipulated with chlorine. I stay away from these types of products altogether until more research is done on them. To each his own, but to me, one sugar substitute is just as "terrible" as another. Aspartame being blamed for everything from rashes to cancer. I agree about low-carbing to control sugar cravings. I was on Atkns briefly, and had no yens for ice cream, which is my weakness. I ate frozen peaches and frozen berries.

Edited by Pickles (log)
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I find my sugar spikings get worse if I'm dehydrated or otherwise tired. I agree with the above suggestions about low carbing and nuts as snacks (I prefer cashews), and I'll add: Drink lots of water.

Best wishes for a successful diet change!

I'm a canning clean freak because there's no sorry large enough to cover the, "Oops! I gave you botulism" regrets.

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I know it doesn't work for everyone, but I found when I was cutting things out of my diet that I had to go cold turkey. I took the "breaking a habit" approach. You know, the one where they say it takes something like 3 weeks to develop/change a habit?

In your case, I'd suggest just eliminating the bread, fruit, nuts, and milk for the next few weeks. The first week is hell, the 2nd week somewhat better, but I found that at about the 3rd or 4th week I was no longer craving the forbidden food at all.

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I have had excellent results using Splenda. Unlike the other chemical sweetners, which can cause serious problems (aspartame caused cardiac arrythmia in me and until it was identified as the culprit I came close to having a pacemaker).

Unlike the others it does not convert to something else with heat so can be used in baking and cooking, and you can do a simple test which is simply chopping an apple into chunks, sprinkling with Splenda and cinnamon and microwaving for 3 to 5 minutes, depending on the strength of your microwave.

I am a diabetic and it has been an integral key in controlling my blood sugar and reducing my weight.

I have read all the dire warnings about how the product is manufactures and the test results done on rats and mice - similar to the cyclamate debacle of a generation ago, the test animals were fed amounts equivalent to a human consuming 2-3 POUNDS of the substance daily.

Chlorine is not poisonous in small amounts, in fact we depend on it to make our water safe.

The plain fact is that sugar, in and of itself can cause far more harm than Splenda in one who is diabetic or borderline.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I'm a sugarbug too, and it sometimes gets wayyy out of control (only I eliminate other things from my diet to make room for the junk :hmmm: )

I cut sugar out completely for three months leading up to the competition that I did, and it wasn't really that hard. Mind you, I had the motivation of roughly six square inches of Lycra velvet to keep me going!

I think that's the key, really being committed to it. Since then, in the post-comp rebound, I've made occasional half-hearted attempts to cut back -- but, y'know, I don't wanna. Yet. I know I'll be cutting again starting in August, so for now, I'm not going to get too tightly wound.

However, for me, any kind of sugar substitute, Splenda included, is not a good way to cut back. I find it just as bad for inducing cravings. For my comp diet, I ate six times a day (keep the blood sugar even -- also important, since my cravings are strongly related to hypoglycemia). Each meal was around the same size -- a mini-meal -- and low-ish carb (about 40C/40P). No refined sugar, at all. No refined flour -- all whole grains. No added sugar -- I eliminated even condiments with added sugar (made my own salsa even), no fruit, no dairy (which is very high in lactose, mostly). And I didn't really run into much of a problem (except that I had a mad yen for chocolate -- not the sweetness, but the real, crisp snap of it between my teeth and the dark chocolatey taste. Sugar alcohol=all bad news! Yuck.)

I did use lots and lots of other strongly flavoured things, and more hot'n'spicy stuff than ever before in my life (and I'm the one ordering things with three little peppers beside their names off Thai menus). S'matter of fact, think that helped too.

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CompassRose is on the money here.

If you use sugar substitutes all you are doing is stringing along the addiction, and never being fully satisfied in the process. If you want to kick the sugar-monkey, it has to be done cold turkey.

Also beware of items in your diet that contain sugars that you might not expect. Sauces (Soy, BBQ, Teriyaki, most tomato sauces, many 'Asian' sauces) are loaded with sugar, Milk is also loaded with simple sugars (lactose is almost as bad as fructose and sucrose in the body), and many fruits are pretty loaded as well. Nuts should be fine in quantities are closely watched (not honey roasted of course, always check ingredients on packages, even in 'savory' nut blends, sugar is often added), and berries should be fairly safe again in moderation. Sweet citrus fruits are a known sugar trigger for a ton of people, as are grapes (wine on the other hand, has had most of the sugar femented out, and is safe).

To keep yourself satisfied and not hungry you will want to up your fat and protein intake. If you are concerned about fats (which there is really no reason to be if you are exercising and cutting out the sugars) go for healthy fats like Olice Oil and Salmon, and you will not even have that to worry about. Spreading out veggie and berry/nut intake throughout the day instead of all at once will help stave off cravings as well.

The biggest thing though is to just stick with it, and not give in, no artificially sweetened beverages, no artificial sweetener, no real sugar, not even a taste. If you can go for a week or so like that, you should find the cravings practically dissapear, although they may become quite fierce the first couple days.

He don't mix meat and dairy,

He don't eat humble pie,

So sing a miserere

And hang the bastard high!

- Richard Wilbur and John LaTouche from Candide

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I did use lots and lots of other strongly flavoured things, and more hot'n'spicy stuff than ever before in my life (and I'm the one ordering things with three little peppers beside their names off Thai menus). S'matter of fact, think that helped too

Compassrose, thats exactly what happened to me. I am a spicy lover to begin with, but when I cut out all sugars, refined carb and fruit. The want for spicy food intensified dramatically

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If you use sugar substitutes all you are doing is stringing along the addiction, and never being fully satisfied in the process.  If you want to kick the sugar-monkey, it has to be done cold turkey.

I disagree. I did go completely cold turkey for a couple of weeks but after that I ate small amounts of low carb sweeteners like splenda, stevia and erythritol without any problem. I can eat things sweetened with this stuff and be satisfied with one serving. No blood sugar spikes, no mood swings, just one serving and on my merry way. This stuff just doesn't mess with me emotionally like sugar/fruit/starch does.

Sugar no longer enslaves me. Artificial/alternative sweeteners give me the ability to have something sweet once in a while and not have it spiral out of control.

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Try planning each meal and snack with some protein and fat as well as non refined carbohydrates. The additional protein and fat blunt the blood glucose spikes as well as providing satiety. If you are in training are you trying to lose weight or if not, are you getting sufficient calories to replace the sugar calories?

Try to remember that sweets are one of man's most elementary tastes. This is going to take some time to retrain your palate. When too tired, stressed, or hungry the first thing you will crave will be the refined CHO.

Go for 6 or 8 small meals per day to avoid getting too hungry.

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If you use sugar substitutes all you are doing is stringing along the addiction, and never being fully satisfied in the process.  If you want to kick the sugar-monkey, it has to be done cold turkey.

I disagree. I did go completely cold turkey for a couple of weeks but after that I ate small amounts of low carb sweeteners like splenda, stevia and erythritol without any problem. I can eat things sweetened with this stuff and be satisfied with one serving. No blood sugar spikes, no mood swings, just one serving and on my merry way. This stuff just doesn't mess with me emotionally like sugar/fruit/starch does.

Sugar no longer enslaves me. Artificial/alternative sweeteners give me the ability to have something sweet once in a while and not have it spiral out of control.

I don't see any harm in adding them back in in moderation after a while, but to truly kick the habit first off, it helps to go a couple weeks without even the artificial sweet. Once you are in control of it adding a taste of stevia or splenda here and there can work out, but if you never take control, you may never lose the cravings.

He don't mix meat and dairy,

He don't eat humble pie,

So sing a miserere

And hang the bastard high!

- Richard Wilbur and John LaTouche from Candide

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Try planning each meal and snack with some protein and fat as well as non refined carbohydrates. The additional protein and fat blunt the blood glucose spikes as well as providing satiety. If you are in training are you trying to lose weight or if not, are you getting sufficient calories to replace the sugar calories?

Try to remember that sweets are one of man's most elementary tastes. This is going to take some time to retrain your palate. When too tired, stressed, or hungry the first thing you will crave will be the refined CHO.

Go for 6 or 8 small meals per day to avoid getting too hungry.

I could not agree with this comment more. Plain peanuts, which have a GI of about 20 and will not cause a spike in insulin, have been very helpful to me in this respect. They appeal to a certain part of my "sweet" sensibility - so many sweets and candies incorporate peanuts, but eating them plain is relatively harmless. Just a handful takes the edge off. :smile:

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Problem is, fruit is a huge trigger for my cravings, along with bread, nuts and milk.
I agree with the above suggestions about low carbing and nuts as snacks (I prefer cashews)...
Nuts should be fine in quantities are closely watched
Plain peanuts, which have a GI of about 20 and will not cause a spike in insulin, have been very helpful to me in this respect.  They appeal to a certain part of my "sweet" sensibility - so many sweets and candies incorporate peanuts, but eating them plain is relatively harmless.

Because nuts are low carb, low G.I., have healthy fats and are delicious, most low carb approaches look upon them very favorably. This does not necessarily mean that you should eat nuts. Ultimately it's how your body responds to a food that reveals if you should avoid it or not. It doesn't matter what its G.I. is or how many carbs it contains. If nuts do indeed trigger cravings, stay away. Not even in moderation. We all have certain trigger foods that may or may not fit into some prescribed way of eating. Regardless of what the books say, if you feel nuts effect you adversely, don't be lulled into thinking they're okay. Your body is smarter than any book out there.

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We all have certain trigger foods that may or may not fit into some prescribed way of eating. Regardless of what the books say, if you feel nuts effect you adversely, don't be lulled into thinking they're okay. Your body is smarter than any book out there.

Yes I certainly agree. It takes concrete experience to decide what works for you to curb sugar cravings while they are intense. It's a good point, everyone is different.

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Thank you for the advice. I'm halfway through Day 2.

It's unfortunate that I'm not currently able to eat a small sweet something and have it suffice. My tendency is to inhale huge quantities of sugar once I get started- the appetitie for it has grown insatiable over the last few months. The worst is when I start the day off with something sweet; a little maple syrup and almond butter or granola or vanilla yogurt or jam on a piece of muesli toast or even a piece of fruit or a plain bowl of hot cereal, which is basically pure, unadulterated starch (turns sweet in my mouth, anyway)- this really screws me up for the rest of the day; I fiend for more sugar. Whereas if I wait and have something after dinner, I usually require less of it, but still more than everyone else I know. Meh. I had the same problem with cigarettes; if I could have been an occasional smoker, I wouldn't have had a problem with an occasional drag. However, it was all or nothing. Bummer.

Of course, I have had a full panel done to make sure there isn't anything else going on.

Good local eggs for breakfast. Miso soup, green beans and butter lettuce salad for lunch.

We shall see!

edited to add: An interesting development: my intense salt cravings subsided almost immediately. Anyone else notice how they balance each other out?

Edited by Verjuice (log)
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Of course, I have had a full panel done to make sure there isn't anything else going on.

We're all pulling for you.

I was wondering about your blood sugar, and I'm glad to hear you've had a check up. But unless things have changed since I had it, hypoglycemia, unlike diabetes, needs a special (5-hour) test to find it.

Edited to add: you may find it easier if you also eliminate caffeine, alcohol, and white starches which hit the blood just as if they were sugar itself. One good sidenote here, my Dr (FACE) says semolina pasta is ok.

Edited by Mottmott (log)

"Half of cooking is thinking about cooking." ---Michael Roberts

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I think I know where your salt cravings come from.

Eating large quantities of sugar requires large quantities of water to flush out the byproducts of glycolysis.

When the body starts getting dehydrated, one of the side-effects is to crave salt to retain as much water as possible.

Congratulations! You're probably drinking suffiecient water for your metabolism!

Another check: Urine should be clear, not golden. Unless you're taking multi-vitamins, or eating B-enriched breads or cereals...........in which case, the golden color is with you all day!

I'm a canning clean freak because there's no sorry large enough to cover the, "Oops! I gave you botulism" regrets.

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Edited to add: you may find it easier if you also eliminate caffeine, alcohol, and white starches which hit the blood just as if they were sugar itself. One good sidenote here, my Dr (FACE) says semolina pasta is ok.

While simple starches react very similarly in the body to sugars, alcohol and caffeine do not.

Caffeine has the potential to cause blood sugar spikes, and does for some people, but for others, it has absolutely no effect. One benefit of Caffeine over sugar is that if it is entering the bloodstream without and real sugar for the insulin to process, your body won't start suddenly building up fat stores, as there is nothing for it to build from. Caffeine does induce sugar cravings in some, however.

Alcohol has nothing to do with insulin response and blood sugar. Alcohol does, however, effectively put the body's metabolism on 'hold' for a while until it is processed away. Alcohol itself will not be stored as fat, but things you eat while drinking the alcohol can be. It is also fairly calorie dense per serving.

He don't mix meat and dairy,

He don't eat humble pie,

So sing a miserere

And hang the bastard high!

- Richard Wilbur and John LaTouche from Candide

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