Sugar Addict/Chocoholic!!! Are you one & how do you deal with it?

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Joined: Dec 14
Posts: 17

Posted: 23 Jan 2015, 21:35
I am an EMOTIONAL EATER and my go to foods are very rich foods, decadent, buttery & sugary …for the most part I am a confessed Chocoholic!!! Are you one? How do you deal with your sugar cravings? Interesting BBC documentary on what kind of eater are you!

Since going on joining FatSecret in December it has been quite an interesting journey. I never really understood how many calories were in the foods I ate especially the rich and sugary ones. I sort of understood it, but after inputting it on this site fairly religiously I began to realize and to also physically see how I was sabotaging myself. My choices would never allow me to achieve my dieting/lifestyle goals. One bite at a time of the rich, decadent and extremely intoxicating chocolate cheese cake, Leonidas chocolate, rich mousse chocolate caramel pie, chocolate pecan pie, and so on, was making me sad, depressed and fat! I knew this fact from an intellectual point of view, but from an emotional part of my mind it was a different storyline. Yes, I am a self-confessed chocoholic, but I also love anything that is rich and decadent with lots of butter and cream, but don’t get me wrong I will not eat anything I only go for high quality stuff.

My problem with these absolutely delicious, intoxicating substances is that I can eat them until I have a coronary. There seems to be no limit to my consumption, especially when I am anxious, sad or going through a period of darkness. Perhaps the root of it is the extreme physical and emotional abuse from my mother and also at Catholic School. However, I am a big boy now and must accept the fact that my eating choices are mine despite my past. When I eat these wonderfully rich and high sugar foods I get this amazing rush/high just like an addict would. I constantly think and fantasize about them. When I got shopping I always find myself hovering around the areas where these rich, high fat and high sugar substance are located. I can feel myself starting to salivate just like Pavlov’s dog. Without this addition to sugar I would not have had this battle with my weight as it is only through the amount of sugar and decadent desserts that my weight sky rockets. Many of my friends seems to be satisfied with small amount of these substance and don’t have this constant craving and addiction like I do. I often wonder why me??? Perhaps it is partly genetic as my uncle also had this intense craving. Perhaps it is strongly connected to the abuse I suffered as a child as it is well documented that sugar gives us a high also known as the sugar high which makes us feel fantastic. Maybe for many years this has been my way of self-medicating and even though at some level I knew it as we all know breaking an addiction and going cold turkey is not an easy task, and going cold turkey never really seems to work.

After watching a BBC Horizon Special: What's The Right Diet For You? I realized that I fall into the category of “Emotional Eater”. In this 3 part series “Dr Chris van Tulleken and Prof Tanya Byron team up with scientists from Oxford and Cambridge universities to see if they can help 75 overweight members of the public win their battle with weight loss. Each dieter undergoes a series of scientific tests to find out the main reason for why they put on weight. The constant cravers have genes that mean they feel hungry all the time, the feasters have a misfiring gut hormone that stops them from knowing when they’re feeling full. The final group, the emotional eaters, eat in response to stress. You can actually go to the web site and take the test yourself. Each group is put on a specific diet that is tailored to counteract the main reason they put on weight. Will this new approach to dieting be more effective?”

It was a very interesting series and what I learned from it was that I really need to tailor a diet and an exercise regime and a practical and do-able lifestyle that works for ME. I realized that what I really need to tackle is my sugar addiction in a way that works as I have constantly being falling off the wagon and getting back on far too many times. It is so self-destructive and demoralizing. I know I am a sugar addiction/chocoholic as I have eaten 3 lbs of Belgium chocolates in one sitting and 10 large containers of Haagan Dazs ice cream in about 3 days. Hey, the Haagan Dazs was on sale for $1.99.
Finally, I think that I found a solution for myself. First I tried to go cold turkey, but that always fails and then I binge even more. This time one part of my solution is just not to buy the ice cream, milk or white chocolate, and other yummy goodies as I have ZERO control when they are in the house. The problem with this approach is that I still have a strong urge/craving for sugar and it doesn’t go away so ultimately I can’t control these feelings anymore especially when I’m having a bad day and then I go on a huge bender/binge.

Finally, I thought about a healthier approach which involved eating small amounts of dark chocolate (cocoa 70 %+). I really hate dark chocolate, but I thought I need to find a solution to my addiction, it is healthy, release good chemical in the brain/positive moods, and may help to satisfy my sugar needs in a positive way. Well, I began by buying large bars of dark chocolate and eating the entire bar. Not a good solution. I also learned that not all dark chocolate was equal so I had to find a good quality one, lower in calories and also satisfying enough for my selective palate. It took some time and I finally found one. The other issue for me was that if I bought a large or medium bar I would eat the entire bar which had a lot of calories. Finally, a friend introduced me to a dark chocolate (72%) which came in individually wrapped pieces and each piece was 29 calories. The chocolate was also very rich and melted in my mouth. It is funny that with milk chocolate I wolf it down, but with dark I really disliked it so I approached eating it very differently.

It has been about 3-4 weeks now and I love dark chocolate especially this particular brand. When I eat it I unwrap it from the individual wrapper and enjoy the rich smell of it and then slowly let it melt in my mouth. I really enjoy it with a cup of English Breakfast milk tea. The benefit for me is that I know exactly how many calories in each piece and I allow myself to eat so many pieces each day. Even if I cheat and eat 1 or 2 extra pieces that are only 29-58 calories extra as opposed to the 1,000-4,000 calories I could consume in a sitting of my other sugary delights. So, I think that I have found my solution to not abstaining from sugar/chocolate, but to find a healthy alternative that satisfies my physical and psychological cravings for sugar/chocolate and the beauty is that there is no guilt involved.

I can really tell you that it works as I bought raspberry chocolate cheese cake the other day for some friends coming over for dinner. I only had one small piece. There is still half the cake left from Monday. A friend came over yesterday and had a piece and I didn’t have one instead I had my dark cocoa. There is still a regular sized piece left and I will actually share it with a buddy coming over this afternoon. This would never have happened in the past. I must admit that I am thinking about it right now, but I am going to eat 3 small pieces of 70% cacao (87 calories) to satisfy my sugar urge. It’s working. Oh yes, once a week I allow myself one decadent dessert. Hey, no bodies perfect!!!

Does anyone else have this intense sugar addiction? Are you an emotional eater? Does sugar give you such an intense pleasurable high? How have you managed to get this under control and deal with your for lack of a better word addiction/cravings positively? I look forward to hearing your stories and advice.

Good luck with your sweet tooth,
gary (info on BBC documentary series)

Joined: Jun 08
Posts: 597

Posted: 24 Jan 2015, 07:57
Hi Gary! What a wonderful piece of writing. I felt like I was reading a professional article for a fancy magazine.

I know what you mean about chocolates & the like. And as a woman, when it's that "time of the month" I'm hit by these same intense cravings. And I too cannot tolerate dark chocolate. Nor can I be around more than one bar at a time during these times or I too will most likely binge.

So how I cope with it is I buy sugar free products, like whey protein ice creams & low carb or diabetic chocolates made with stevia, erythritol or artificial sweeteners. My favourite chocolate being Cavalier. And as sugar free chocolates are usually really expensive compared to normal chocolates, it makes it alot easier sticking to buying just one. I also bake my own chocolate cakes made with unsweetened cocoa powder, almond & coconut flour.

I thought I was gonna score as a "Constant Craver" on the BBC quiz, but after actually taking the Find The Right Diet For You test, it told me that I'm actually a "Feaster"! & need a High Protein, Low GI diet. So I think the Ketogenic diet I'm on at the moment is well suited to me.

What's the brand of the dark chocolate you mentioned? I'd like to give it a try & see if it can win me over to the dark side too, so to speak lol.
"Do what thou wilt shall be the the Law, Love is the whole of the law, Love BEFORE will, The meaning of life is to LOVE"
"Never apologise for who you are"
"Leave as little negative impact on the world as possible"
"Last night fear knocked on my door, faith answered and no one was there"
Even if it's slow it's going to Go!

Starting weight: 318 lbs!! 2nd of June 2008 (Calorie Counting!).

June 08 Month 1: 298 lb (20 lb. lost). July 08 Month 2: 291 lb (7 lb. lost). August 08 Month 3: 279 lb (12 lb. lost). September 08 Month 4: 268 lb (11 lb. lost). October 08 Month 5: 257 lb (11 lb. lost). November 08 Month 6: 248 lb (9 lb. lost). December 08 Month 7: 235 lb (13 lb. lost).

January 2009 Month 8: 229 lb (6 lb. lost). February 09 Month 9: 223 lb (6 lb. lost). March 09 Month 10: 211 lb (12 lb. lost). April 09 Month 11: 208 lb (3 lb. lost). May 09 Month 12: 210 lb (+2 lb. gained). June 09 Month 13: 188 lb (22 lb. lost). July 09 Month 14: 181 lb (7 lb. lost). August 09 Month 15: 179 lb (2 lb. lost). 15th September 09 Month 16: 171 lb (8 lb. lost). Total Loss: 147 lbs! in 15 months. (Alas! Regained! :'-( )

Starting weight: 295.6 lb!! 11th of August 2014 (Ketogenic! / Low Carb!).

August 2014, Month 1: 287.8 lb (7.8 lbs lost). September 2014, Month 2: 274.8 lb (13.8 lbs lost). October 2014, Month 3: 254 lb (19.2 lbs lost). November 2014, Month 4: 241.4 lb (12.6 lbs lost). December 2014, Month 5: 228.8 lb (12.6 lbs lost). January 2015, Month 6: 218.6 lb (10.2 lbs lost). February 2015, Month 7: 210 lb (8.6 lbs lost). March 2015, Month 8: 207 lb (3 lbs lost). April 2015, Month 9: 2xx.x lb (x.x lbs lost).

Joined: Dec 14
Posts: 17

Posted: 24 Jan 2015, 10:35
Hi ebivr,

Thanks for your kind words and sharing your thoughts. I like your quote "Even if it's slow it's going to go!" I know this feeling as I have been in the negative net calorie intake for the past 2 weeks and by all scientific calculation should have lost weight and in fact was up slightly. Go figure. However, I am finally feeling fit and am not relying on the scale as I used to. Well, I'm getting off topic and to answer your question the dark chocolate that I am now addicted to, but in a good way is called Carre de Chocolate by Morinaga. I live in Tokyo and it is a Japanese company. I am very surprised that I really love it and not so long ago I abhorred the stuff. It just goes to show how we can change our behaviour in a positive way in a short time frame. It's great that you took the BBC test and discovered you are on the right eating regime for your type. Your chocolate cakes sound amazing and I will try your suggestion.

Good luck with your goals.

Joined: Dec 14
Posts: 25

Posted: 31 Jan 2015, 05:00
I love chocolate and cannot resist

The thing is you have 2 chances to resist

1. At the supermarket do not buy it (Relatively easy)
2. It is in the cupboard or fridge do not eat it (Damn near impossible)

Make a shopping list, buy that stuff, leave

I should say i allow myself to eat a small bar of chocolate whenever I feel like it, but I have to cycle to the shop to get it which is a hilly 8km round trip or buy individually wrapped chocolates that last WAYYYY longer than ice cream or a big slab.

Shopping well solves a lot of problems, if you have not got the bad stuff in easy reach you get past your cravings (usually)

Joined: Jan 15
Posts: 1

Posted: 06 Feb 2015, 09:13
I think you are doing the right thing, finding you a good, safe alternative to the chocolate cravings and now you are able to limit yourself better..way to go. I too am an emotional eater and yes sweets too. I did the cold turkey initially and it worked for me and now if I have a severe craving, we keep those mini chocolates around for our grandaughter, I might have one of those...only 1 though. I started my diet Dec 1 and I have had to indulge in the piece of chocolate only once and I was satisfied with that. As far as losing weight, be sure that you are eating enough of the right foods ie: healthy fats, proteins & carbs. If you starve yourself too much, your body shuts your metabolism down and you don't lose weight. All professionals that I have researched say you need to have one cheat meal (NOT the whole day, just one reasonable cheat meal where you get to eat something that you really love & crave) every week or two. This serves to jolt your metabolism and your body will respond by increasing your metabolism to take care of that meal you just ate then when you go back to your regular diet meals, your metabolism will stay high and allow you to lose weight. If you do a little research on body fat and metabolism, there is scienetific research that explains it in better detail. Hope this helps. Oh and by the way, I too am an emotional eater so what I do is keep my favorite flavored rice cakes around and when I get that severe craving to just munch away, I eat a couple of those or make myself a protein shake and either one of them will fill you up with minimal calories..etc. Good Luck, Diane

Joined: Dec 14
Posts: 17

Posted: 07 Feb 2015, 07:47
Hi Diane, Thanks for your post. I have gone from 205 lbs about a year ago to 175 and my goal is 167-169. The last 5-7 lbs is the most difficult. I fully agree with you that a good treat once a week never hurts and that starving yourself has the opposite effect. It is all about balance and the most important thing even more so than exercise is putting whole, nutritious foods into our bodies. I have always eaten healthy foods and have been a vegetarian for many years eating tons of veggies, beans, tofu, etc., but my enemy has been my sugar-chocolate-ice cream addiction. Since I have gotten this under control the pounds have slowly gone away and for once I am starting to feel normal and dare I say it like the athlete I once was in my 20s. Okay, maybe a bit of an exaggeration, but I do now feel fit and healthy and longer have the jello-belly when jogging. Thanks so much for your input. Good luck to you, too.

Joined: Mar 15
Posts: 9

Posted: 03 Mar 2015, 14:52
I can totally relate to rich foods being ur comfort. The only thing I have ever found (beyond a dulling of the desire with some diets) is ketosis. Now I have no problem even watching others eat stuff rite in front of me. I eat a ton of fat so I am always satiated with fat which is what alot of rich food craving is--craving fat. The sugars u crave becuz ur bld sugar is outta whack. Ketosis will put that right also. Super balanced. Plus my true hunger is gone. I have hormonal hunger I have discovered. There Is NO Ignoring It either!! On one lowcarb diet I would eat tons of stuff that was allowed and not get the the hunger to abate. Becuz it was a hormonal issue. Ketosis has basically eradicated that also.
MY body L.O.V.E.S. keto-adaptation. If I could just get it to budge now and stop the plateau Im at I'd be in heaven LOL
Nothing tastes as good as feeling good ... and wearing those size 6 jeans again!

Joined: Mar 15
Posts: 9

Posted: 03 Mar 2015, 15:13
And I'll tell ya, being in ketosis now, with no fruit or starchy vegs at this point still, I actually do not want chocolate! I think about, miss, dream about--fruit and fruit flavors. I would love to eat a strawberry or a kiwi.
I never thot such a thing could exist as not wanting chocolate--for me. But it's beyond that. I mean it's not that I don't want it now, I almost DO NOT LIKE IT. I use cocoa powder and stevia glycerite to make a chocolate smoothie or a mocha cup. I did it less and less and now I've decided--eh. Just not gonna make em anymore. I eat a fatty drink in the a.m. I am to the point where I just use warmed coconut milk (rich canned stuff, not that gross aseptic carton or thin watery chilled carton), hot water, coconut oil, pinch of salt, vanilla, cinnamon, grated ginger maybe, lime or lemon juice sometimes and stevia glycerite. Then I blend it all and its frothy and filling. Some ppl put coffee in instead of the flavors or cocoa powder and no coffee. (this drink originated as Bulletproof Coffee)
Soooo my pt? You could find urself at the place I need for the self medication once you've got ur body balanced. Physiology is the study of homeostasis. Our Bodies WANT To Be Balanced. Have Hope Smile
Nothing tastes as good as feeling good ... and wearing those size 6 jeans again!

Joined: Feb 10
Posts: 4

Posted: 03 Mar 2015, 15:49
I think my sugar addiction comes and goes in cycles. Sometimes I REALLY want it and other times it's just meh. I kind of had this problem before I started low carb (again) though...I'd go on a sugar binge and then a starch binge and then a salt binge. And in between I don't feel much like eating anything or I want vegetables badly! I'm actually not doing too badly with the cravings except I miss certain textures that I can't duplicate, like chewy (a la Twizzlers). Or French bread. I drink a LOT of water and that usually kills the cravings for me. And in the evening I have a hot cup of tea.

One thing I've heard people saying is that if you really have a bad sugar craving, stay away from sweet things until it's out of your system. I don't know what plan you are following, but I do know on Atkins in Phase two you can start to add berries back at one point so if that's what you are doing it's something to look forward to!

Joined: Mar 15
Posts: 9

Posted: 07 Mar 2015, 14:50
also the starchy vegs will just prolong a craving as theyre carb-y. sweet pot are even high in fructose...which is NOT good. eat lots of greens, cooked n salads. finally, u will get there. it will be hell till u do, but u will. i love greens now n am limited on what i can eat of them, im very lowcarb n high fat. ur body craves the nutrients in greens, so many kinds of them too!
my heart goes out to all who battle cravings. i didnt conquer them till ketosis. hopefully i will tolerate veg carbs again n at least maintain my loss while eating them again when i get to goal. if not, ill be without. im not living that battle again.
Nothing tastes as good as feeling good ... and wearing those size 6 jeans again!

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