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SLIMMERKIWI's Photo SLIMMERKIWI SparkPoints: (276,121)
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12/16/18 9:54 P



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Thanks for the update. It sounds like you have been making some progress :-)

Kris

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EDSUNSHINE Posts: 78
12/16/18 9:31 P

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A story and an update.... Last week I hit up some sales for 99c chocolate chips that I need for the Christmas treats I make every year. I was a week into my little challenge and I had just set myself up for failure for sure!
I can eat chocolate chips by the handful and there they were just hanging out in the highest cabinet, on the highest shelf, in the darkest corner just calling me to eat a whole bag! I knew they were there and that first day I was fine, because I was strong. Day three I was not strong I paced the hall, I drank a bottle of water, I texted a friend, I ate anything else but NOTHING would calm this craving so I said "a couple won't hurt". I pulled the bag down and set it on the counter. I walked around the kitchen looking at it shaking my hands hoping to stop the feeling of need for these sugary drops! It didn't work, I went over to the bag and read the nutrition label, then I read the ingredients and then I put it back! They call me everyday "just a couple won't hurt" they say and everyday I have to fight against that want! lol
I am now on day 16 I went to a birthday party today, there was cake and I didn't even want it!! I still fight the cravings pretty badly but I have one more week of this challenge and I'm gonna make it. I don't know what comes after that but when it comes I will make the best choice for me.
Changes I've noticed- well the first week I lost 3lbs. This week was not as good but I know it's because I'm trying to curb the cravings by using other foods. *TMI* I made it through my pms time without giving into a chocolate binge! I don't know that I have more energy but I have more stability in my energy levels which is nice! All of these things are positives in my book!!
Thank you all for the suggestions and advice you've shared! I know I have a long way to go to change my life and the issues that got me this unhealthy, but I'm trying and that counts for something!



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SLENDERELLA61's Photo SLENDERELLA61 SparkPoints: (331,251)
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12/14/18 9:15 A

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I have trouble with sugar cravings, too. Sometimes moderation works; sometimes it seems to set off a binge. I've been at a normal weight now 9 years and still haven't figured this out.

BUT I find that often sour things will quiet my sugar cravings. That may sound crazy, but a dill pickle (watch sodium), sauerkraut, vinegar, or similar things can make the sugar cravings go away. Seems to work best when sugar cravings first start. Grapefruit works sometimes, too.

But just keep tracking your food nutrition and stick in your calorie range as best you can. When you slip, just keep trying.

Best wishes!



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LISALU910's Photo LISALU910 Posts: 1,174
12/14/18 9:03 A

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First of all, you don't NEED sugar, you WANT sugar!

I remember reading many years ago, Jean Nidetch who founded WW said, "Okay, if you think you really NEED sugar, then just go eat a teaspoon of sugar. It's only 16 calories." Her point being that if we really needed sugar, then a spoonful of plain sugar would do it. If it doesn't, then you don't really need sugar, you just want to eat sugary foods.

Ouch.





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JERSEYGIRL24's Photo JERSEYGIRL24 Posts: 24,142
12/9/18 10:39 P

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These are great suggestions.

Leslie from NJ
Eastern Time Zone


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WHITE-GREEN's Photo WHITE-GREEN Posts: 3,113
12/6/18 12:49 P

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I'm an all-or-nothing person. So I eat either no sugary treats at all or I binge on them. I figured the latter won't work (LOL).
What works for me:
* Remember that after the first 5 days it gets (a lot) easier.
* Also, remind yourself of your long term goals when struggling. Write a list of the nasty effects of eating sugar and also a list of the benefits of not eating it and read that daily during the first few weeks.
* Get in plenty of vegetables (think at least 4 servings per day), raw and cooked to make sure it's not nutrients you are craving. Have 1 cup or more of beans and a handfull of nuts each day too.
* Either don't keep any sweets / sugary foods in the house or just ONE kind in a LIMITED amount.
* In case you have to have tempting foodsin the house: You can get a Kitchen Safe (cookie jar with a time lock) to help stop you from eating a whole bag or box of chocolates or cookies in one setting
* I would not eat cheese or other foods INSTEAD of the sugary foods you crave. You would still get in a lot of calories you don't need. And you are reinforcing the idea that you need 'something' when really, you are just going through withdrawals.
* Do get a non-sugary food that you really like - again, just a LIMITED amount of it - and have that as a treat instead of the sugary stuff you used to eat. But have it just once or twice a day in a limited portion.
* You can try eating frozen fruit, not more than one or two handfulls, preferably after a meal or with a snack with some protein in it (nuts or seeds are a good choice). It has a sweet taste, might remind you of ice cream or candy AND it will take you a long time to eat it which helps give you a feeling of 'indulging'.
Also after a while you will need to stop eating because your mouth, tongue and tummy are getting way too cold! :)
Try frozen banana or pear or peach (you can freeze those at home) or buy frozen pineapple, berries, mango, cherries.



Edited by: WHITE-GREEN at: 12/6/2018 (13:06)

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ARCHIMEDESII's Photo ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (208,403)
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12/6/18 9:04 A



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I'm the same way with sugary treats like chocolate or cookies. I try to practice moderation. I try to limit my portion size and most days, I can. However, like the mouse in the children's book, if you give me one cookie, I might want another and another and another.

Like SLIMMER, I will eat 2-3 apples/pears/bananas for snacks to get my 3-4 servings of fresh fruit each day. Plus, per Joel Furhman, I eat at least one large salad as a meal. My salads/fruit snacks easily give me 6-9 servings of fresh fruit and veggies.

Full disclosure, I am not diabetic.

However, like many Americans, I spent too many years chowing down on sugary treats like muffins, crumb cakes, chocolates, etc. These days, I eat more veggies than the treats.

SLIMMERKIWI's Photo SLIMMERKIWI SparkPoints: (276,121)
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12/6/18 4:43 A



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For most people there is nothing wrong with going 'over the top' eating fruit. The sugars that cause the problem re weight are more inclined to be the added sugars. The bulk of my food is usually fruit/veges, and of that, on average I eat MORE than 5 full serves of fruit per day and at least 2 of those serves is from bananas. For quite some time I have been tracking my sugar (just out of curiosity) - for the last 7 days, I have averaged 92.867 grams of sugar per day. I have also eaten chocolate over some of those days. The recommended amount of sugar per day is up to 90 grams, BUT most Dietitians will tell you to NOT be concerned about it going over when it is coming from fruit UNLESS you have diabetes, OR your Dr has instructed you otherwise. It is a different type of sugar and the benefits of the fruit outweigh that.

I can eat one piece of fruit and be happy with that, but if I eat a chocolate, I will then eat a second, then a third, and a fourth (and on occasion more.) HOWEVER, if that chocolate is DARK chocolate it is less likely to have the effect on me, and especially if that dark chocolate is on one side only (and thin) of my protein nut bars. I used to often eat ONE Werther's Sugar Free Toffee. That would satisfy my wanting a) confectionery, and b) sugar. (which only occurred after my weight-loss.)

Kris

Edited by: SLIMMERKIWI at: 12/6/2018 (18:28)
Co-Moderator Dealing with Depression
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ndividual.asp?gid=953


Team Leader Essential Tremors :-) (Benign and Familial) www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/groups_i
ndividual.asp?gid=30225


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ndividual.asp?gid=17464


I am not a Dr - please check with your qualified Health Professional for a diagnosis and treatment plan


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-JAMES-'s Photo -JAMES- Posts: 12,327
12/5/18 1:34 P

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EDSUNSHINE,
one thing I think ARCHIMEDESII and I are going to agree on, is to eat real food, not over processed things. Things can't be more processed than pure sugar.

Though I don't eat much fruit (I eat blackberries, raspberries and strawberries) I can well see that fruit is real food, tons better than chocolate bars, ice-cream and pure sugar itself.

Edited by: -JAMES- at: 12/6/2018 (11:19)
James
Alberta, Canada


All time highest weight : 217 pounds

Starting weight : 195.0 pounds (June 7, 2012)
Final weight : 168.2 pounds (July 23, 2013)


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ARCHIMEDESII's Photo ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (208,403)
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12/5/18 12:49 P



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EDSUNSHINE,

Popcorn can be a healthy snack. However, you do have to read the label. I love cinnamon popcorn, but some brands do add extra sugar. that cinnamon could be cinnamon sugar versus plain cinnamon. If you made the popcorn yourself and topped it with a dusting of cinnamon, I do that ! I love putting a little cinnamon on top of a banana.

Unless you are diabetic and need to watch the amount of fruit you eat, eating more fruit isn't a bad thing, in my own humble opinion. Eating an apple or pear or banana as a snack did not cause Americans to be overweight. Fruit has been demonized by many nutritionists. a piece of fruit has plenty of health benefits such as anti-oxidants, phyto chemicals and fiber.

If you doctor said you need to watch your sugar levels, then you start choosing fruit that is low on the glycemic scale. think berries.

from my own personal experience, I found that increasing the amount of fresh fruit and veggies I ate helped to decrease my craving for refined sugar.

And I still want to emphasize that you have a long ways to go when it comes to changing your palette. it really does take time to learn to eat more healthfully. How you're eating now is going to change.

Your tastes and choices will evolve.

Glad you're feeling better. Going through sugar or caffeine withdrawals is not pleasant. Ask me how many years it took me to break a Diet Coke habit. that took longer than breaking the sugar habit.


Edited by: ARCHIMEDESII at: 12/5/2018 (13:52)
-JAMES-'s Photo -JAMES- Posts: 12,327
12/4/18 8:57 P

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EDSUNSHINE,
I'm an extremeist, I eat Ketogenic, which is ultra low carbs. Sugar is out for me. Most fruit is out too. The fruits that I do eat are very low sugar, like blackberries, and even then it is rare for me to eat more than say 5 at a time.

But I think I have a perspective on your energy coming back. With less sugar and carbs your blood sugar, and energy is more even. I'll even bet that you can access some body fat more easily for energy, again more even energy.

Sugar is a short term solution to low blood sugar.

What KENDILYNN wrote about cheese cubes and dill pickles, ... yup that is exactly the kind of snack I have.

Edited by: -JAMES- at: 12/4/2018 (20:58)
James
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Starting weight : 195.0 pounds (June 7, 2012)
Final weight : 168.2 pounds (July 23, 2013)


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EDSUNSHINE Posts: 78
12/4/18 6:09 P

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Thank you all so much! Still going strong although I think my fruit intake maybe over the top lol! I wish I could be one of those "in moderation" people I'm just not so it was definitely all or nothing, but that's ok. If I'm being honest with myself I didn't really want a substitution for the sugar, although I found cinnamon popcorn isn't bad, because I feel like that doesn't really break the addiction.
I am feeling like I have more energy whether that's a placebo effect I don't know, I'm gonna run with it...or walk with it since I'm just getting back to working out lol! Again thank you all for the advice...I'll keep you posted!!!



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KENDILYNN's Photo KENDILYNN SparkPoints: (23,000)
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12/4/18 10:41 A

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You've already received some great advice here from people far smarter than me. The only thing I can add is that when I crave something sweet, it sometimes helps me to have a couple cubes of cheese or a dill pickle. While it doesn't "fulfill" my sweet craving, I feel like it sates my hunger and also tricks my taste buds into not needing the sweetness.



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-JAMES-'s Photo -JAMES- Posts: 12,327
12/3/18 12:59 P

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EDSUNSHINE,
it's not a weakness of character. I'm with the others, it is an addiction. I think there is a biological reason for that, ... to get people to fatten up for the winter.

But in a real winter summer time foods (fruit, sweets, potatoes ...) just aren't there. But we can go shopping and buy pineapple any time of year, or pure refined sugar.

You either make it through the next days, or if not have a ration of things you used to eat. Lets say one chocolate bar (or two) per day. Whatever is a fair bit less than before.

Just make sure to eat it on a schedule, not all at once. Don't eat ahead of schedule, like I'm entitled to it today, I'll eat it all now. Don't think I'll do this now, and I'll be good this afternoon (or tomorrow). No!

But knowing it is not cut out completely might really help. Like quitting smoking. If you stop cold turkey it is tough. If you cut down from a pack a day, to half a pack, to a quarter of a pack, to none, that could be easier.

James
Alberta, Canada


All time highest weight : 217 pounds

Starting weight : 195.0 pounds (June 7, 2012)
Final weight : 168.2 pounds (July 23, 2013)


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ARCHIMEDESII's Photo ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (208,403)
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12/3/18 12:35 P



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EDSUNSHINE,

Breaking a sugar addiction isn't easy. One thing to do is make sure you have plenty of healthy "go to" snacks on hand in case you need a snack.

One reason you may be craving the sugar is because you're not eating enough calories during the day. When a person decides they want to lose weight, they tend to cut their calories drastically in an effort to be good. Combine that with cutting sugar and the next thing you know all you want to do is eat anything that isn't nailed down.

Do check to make sure you're eating enough calories during the day so that you aren't craving sugar later. If you went from eating 3000 calories a day down to say 1200, it really is no wonder you're craving the sugary treats.

Since you're just starting out, one simple thing you can do that can help decrease any sugar cravings is to eat plenty of servings of fresh fruit and veggies. Think big leafy green salads loaded with spinach, kale, chard, peppers, tomatoes, etc. Dark leafy greens have plenty of fiber. Eating foods that are high in fiber helps to decrease sugar cravings. The more veggies you eat, the better you will start feeling.

If you do need a sweet treat, stick a banana in the freezer. You can toss it into a blender with some soy/almond milk, low fat plain yogurt and maybe a little dab of peanut butter. it's a low cal frozen banana smoothie. Sometimes I'll have a regular banana with a dab of peanut butter.

I also like having nuts (walnuts in particular) for snacks. I find walnuts to be very filling. just be careful of your portion size. many members will eat a hard boiled egg with a dusting of pepper. If you do a search on the Spark website, you can find other good snack ideas.

mostly, you need to be patient. it's only been two days. it could take months or even years to break that sugar habit. I lost the weight, but even I still have a sweet tooth.

Edited by: ARCHIMEDESII at: 12/3/2018 (12:38)
SLIMMERKIWI's Photo SLIMMERKIWI SparkPoints: (276,121)
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12/3/18 4:28 A



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Often when people cut something straight out of their diet, they end up craving it far more than if they gradually reduced it.

If you DO find that you want something really sweet, try a dried date or fig. Just nibble on them slowly. They are quite sweet, but have some good nutritional benefits including fibre, that the usual sugar fare doesn't have.

I USED to have sugar in my coffee. I gradually reduced that until I no longer add it, UNLESS a cafe has made it too strong. I always ask for 1/2 strength. The sugar helps to remove that bitterness from strong coffee.

I USED to add sugar to nearly all fruit I cooked, but gradually reduced it. The only fruit I add sugar to now when I cook it is Rhubarb, and that is only a little.

I often have wholegrain flaked rice, cooked with some soy milk (or milk of choice) mashed banana and chopped dates (don't need many) and a little cinnamon, then let it go cold. It is lovely and certainly hits that 'sweet' spot.

Making sure that you are eating regularly, and sometimes even going with 4-5 small meals a day, and including a good amount of lean protein to each meal/snack, helps to overcome that craving for sugar. I suggest you take a look at what, how much, and when you eat to see if you can improve on that.

Kris

Co-Moderator Dealing with Depression
www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/groups_i
ndividual.asp?gid=953


Team Leader Essential Tremors :-) (Benign and Familial) www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/groups_i
ndividual.asp?gid=30225


Co-Leader Crohn's Can't Stop Me
www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/groups_i
ndividual.asp?gid=17464


I am not a Dr - please check with your qualified Health Professional for a diagnosis and treatment plan


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MARIA11X's Photo MARIA11X Posts: 557
12/2/18 11:43 P

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There have been studies that sugar is just as addicting or more so than drugs. It's believed that excessive sugar elevates dopamine levels in the brain, and over time the dopamine levels fall, which creates a mild depression. People will then consume more sugar to avoid the mild depression.

It is recommended to not quit sugar "cold turkey," but to try and cut back slowly so that the body can get used to reduced sugar. Quitting cold turkey creates unpleasant and uncomfortable side effects.

Cravings usually lessen in 20-30 minutes if you can hold out for that long. Distract yourself with another activity, call a friend, take a walk or exercise, read a book, whatever you can do for 20-30 minutes to see if the cravings diminish.

It can take a good 6 weeks to overcome a sugar addiction. It takes consistent effort daily, and don't beat yourself up if you can't do it perfectly. Be patient with yourself, it's not easy.

Best wishes!
Maria



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CHICAGOHOPE's Photo CHICAGOHOPE SparkPoints: (25,503)
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12/2/18 10:09 P

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I have to admit, I was the same when I decided to stop drinking pop. That was all I could think of.

For me, I had to do something that distracted me, workout, go for a walk, do an online yoga class. Anything so I didn't think of it or be around the kitchen.

For me I didn't do a substitution because I really wanted to stop the craving and not replace it.

Maybe try other fruits, frozen, or like pairs, grilled.

I don't really have other ideas, but wanted you to know I've been there. Stay strong, and know that recognizing the craving is the beginning.





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EDSUNSHINE Posts: 78
12/2/18 9:06 P

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So it is day two with cutting sugar from my diet I'm doing ok but I need something sweet and grapes aren't cutting it! I want a chocolate bar, a cake, or ice cream...even avocado pudding! As I'm writing this all I can think is "I want it all! all the chocolate sugary things!" And this is why I'm taking a break! But I need some suggestions on what can help ease the cravings? I'm in desperate need of some new ideas!!!



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