I had to laugh at this thread --- it so totally illustrates that it's all about what works for YOU, and that the only way to figure it out is to try different things.
I had a major sweet tooth, that I have tamed down to a minor one, now. I was never one for sweet cravings or binges, so those weren't things that I had to consider. My "issue" with sweets is that I *need* to enjoy my food - it is one of the things that I want to always bring pleasure in to my life - and I simply enjoy the taste of sweet.
I started out with just tracking what I was eating for a couple of weeks, without making any changes. Due to some vitamin deficiencies that I was dealing with, I focused only on the levels of fibre, sodium, folate, and iron. I then started to add foods which increased those levels (and yes, I'm a weird one who had to increase sodium).
Once I got a handle on what I was eating, then I focused on adding foods. I found that by going to the least processed items, I could better control what I was eating. As part of "enjoying" my food, some of the things that I have almost every day are:
- 1 tsp of maple sugar in my first cup of coffee (the rest of them are black, but I just really enjoy the extra sweetness first thing)
- 1 tsp of maple sugar mixed in to plain yogurt, along with a Tbsp of cocoa (and fruit, or berries, or nuts, or ...) - if I'm lower on iron that day, then I use a Tbsp of blackstrap molasses instead
- 1 tsp of maple sugar (or blackstrap molasses) and 2 Tbsp of cocoa powder mixed with 10oz of skim milk, heated to make hot chocolate to finish every day
- home-made banana or pumpkin muffins, sweetened with blackstrap molasses or maple syrup or a mix of both (because there is so much flavour in the natural sweeteners, I use 1/4 to 1/2 of the sweetener called for in most recipes)
- dark chocolate (minimum 72%), savoured 10g at a time
I found that I preferred the taste of the maple sugar, maple syrup, or blackstrap to that of granulated sugar - and I definitely am happier with their nutritional info than I was with the regular sugar! I do insist on having some, so like to have the options that actually add some vitamins and minerals.
As has been mentioned, changing to more natural sweeteners, and dropping the amounts, has definitely changed my taste buds. Packaged foods and desserts are much too sweet for my tastes now, as are some fruits (pineapple literally makes my teeth ache because it's so sweet). I've even changed from using the orange-coloured sweet potatoes to the yellow ones, because the orange ones were far too sweet.
Take an honest look at yourself, and decide whether gradual changes will work best for you. If you get major cravings or have binges, then it might be better to go "cold turkey". Only you can decide, so strong thoughts and best wishes for finding YOUR best answer!
Start weight: 240 lbs
Goal weight: 155 lbs (reached March 7, 2014)
Afraid of a colonoscopy? Believe me - they are much less frightening than surgery and chemotherapy.
Colonoscopies allow polyps to be removed before they can become cancer, or let cancers be found before they are too widespread. If you are 50 or older, or have any symptoms, please don't let fear stop you from covering your butt.
| current weight: -6.0 under