Every time I try to start eating healthier I go through a detoxification faze where I am craving junk for NO reason at all. But the cravings are there and fierce! It takes a while to substitute the processed sweeteners with natural ones. My first choice for sweet cravings is orange juice. It keeps me from reaching for doughnuts, cookies, ice cream, etc. when I first start detoxing. Hope that helps
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!
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i don't know if this will help you or just make you cry, but this was my experience. i would put 2 Tablespoons of sugar into my tea or onto my [sugared] cereal. i would have several cups of tea a day and often cereal as well. that's a lot of added sugar. the day i figured out that i was using 2 Tablspoons of sugar [i had been measuring in teaspoons] the realization that the unit i should be using was Tablespoons along with the easy conversion to cups [did i really need 1/8 a cup of sugar in everything i ate?] was a wake up call. i laugh at the "try fruit" advice at that point. fruit, when you're eating pure granulated sugar, can't compete. it doesn't even taste sweet. i'm not sure if you're there or not, but again, this is what i did. i'm not a cold turkey person, so i decided i was going to start cutting out about half a teaspoon of sugar from what i was having. which means i cut back to about 5.5 teaspoons of sugar added to things. i did that for a few weeks to a month, til that was how much i was usually measuring without it being any sort of effort. then i cut back to five teaspoons of sugar for a few more weeks. and i kept going like this, taking a little bit out every few weeks and adjusting to it. it took me about a year to get to the point where i could not add sugar to stuff and be happy with it. that's the bad news. the good news is that i found out that fruit really is sweet. oh, and i did this around 2006 and once i did it, took the time to do it right, i haven't looked back. yes, i occasionally add sugar to drinks, but it's about a teaspoon and it doesn't cause a total reversal. i still like having it black. and i almost never add sugar to cereals when i have them. i got rid of the have to have it part without making myself suffer at all. i slowly eased myself where i wanted to be.
First I would say to start tracking all those sweet things you are eating. Make sure you choose to track fiber and vitamins etc. When you see what you are putting in your body you might feel inspired to make healthier choices. But in the meantime uou can eat fruit pieces dipped in melted dark chocolate, make a float with diet soda and frozen yoghurt, someone suggested dates which are like nature's candy. I think you will find that after a couple of weeks of making healthier choices you will not have those cravings like before. Good luck!
I had that problem too. I drank a lot of pop, and ate sugary foods. I started eating low carb, and cut those foods out of my diet most of the time, and the cravings for those foods disappeared.
Those cravings are caused by the very food you eat, and when you give in to those cravings, you overeat, and gain weight.
Think about it.. why would you continue to eat something that caused you to do harm to yourself? When there is something you can't stop yourself from doing, even if you think it is harmful, in most cases we abstain from consuming those products ( alcohol, drugs, cigarettes etc ). Why would having just a little bit help you get over the cravings? It causes more of them.
We all eat some carbs, but not the same ones. Some of us eat lower glycemic ones, in smaller quantites. Others thrive on high glycemic carbs like potatoes, bread, and pasta. The difference between the 2 groups is that when they eat these foods, one group ( thrivers ), are full, and go on with life till the next meal, while the rest ( cravers ), wait 2 hours and head out for 4th meal! Taco Bell knows that these foods will drive you into their store by midnight. So much that they have coined the phrase 4th meal, like you won a prize... free obesity and disease!! Your a winner.
You don't need to start Atkins Induction ( 20 g carbs a day ), but at the very least, you should start looking at the carbs you do consume, and change what kind you eat. Something as little as the type of cereal can make a huge difference. You can have low sugar ( 50 % ) oatmeal, cut the sugary milk out ( use water ). Have berries, instead of a bagel. Eat more servings of green, leafy veggies, and less starchy ones, like potatoes, beets, and corn. If you absolutely must have bread, try going to a bakery, instead of buying store brand bread. Obviously you should cut out all processed foods, and sweets. This leaves quite a bit of carbs, and heading to a fruit/veggie market will let you see that we only eat a small percentage of the fruits/veggies available to us. We end not to eat beans that much, unless in a bean burrito, the absolute worst way to eat beans on Earth..lol. High fiber bakery bread, with less added sugar, as well as oatmeal, or eggs, many varieties of cheese, and other dairy, like yogurt every so often.
Whenever you are deciding to eat, don't try to eat perfectly, just try to make it a little healthier. keep doing this, and you will eventually get to where you want to be. I had to cut down to a LCHF diet to keep my cravings away, but you may find that by just getting rid of the higher glycemic foods, and sugar, that you can get rid of them.
Whenever you get cravings, stop, and pay attention to the last food you ate. See what food triggered that craving, and remove it. That removes the craving. Cravings are NOT a longing as in a memory, that was caused by thinking of chocolate. It is a chemical reaction that occurs in the body, and is caused by the food you ate at your last meal. Trust me, you can go months without ANY cravings whatsoever.
Edited by: RUSSELL_40 at: 10/28/2013 (10:07)
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I wouldn't be trying to cut them out all at once, but rather gradually reduce them, but replace them with something healthy. Perhaps having things like chopped dried dates, and when you feel the urge for something sweet, slowly nibble on a bit of date. That way at least you are getting fibre and other nutrients with it, and odds are, tons less calories.
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