help! I'm addicted to sugar/candy

scc_msFebruary 27, 2004

I have had to watch my weight all my life, but it is mostly in control. After finishing nursing my last kid, about 2 years ago, I joined ediets to drop the last of the baby weight. I didn't love it, but I did learn more about portion control, which helped me cut down on some of the extras - bread, pasta, etc.

I am just 5-7 pounds over the weight I want to be, but just can't seem to drop it. I really think my problem is that I just can't give up a sweet taste. I probably consume 200 calories/day of chocolate or dessert or candy. I have gone off it for a few months here and there, but I actually feel depressed without it. I think I've cut out pretty much everything else and eat about 1200-1300 calories/day of real food.

I hate diet cookies, candy, etc. I've tried them all and would rather have nothing than them. It just isn't satisfying unless it's real. Other than my one "obsession," I eat a balanced and healthy diet.

Anyone else battle this?

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Yes, I think a lot of us battle wanting something sweet. I agree with you on the diet cookies, candy, etc.

Have you tried making pies, cakes, etc with Splenda? Splenda is made from sugar and is very sweet. Their website has recipes.

I crave sweets the most after lunch each day. I take my lunch to work and I have learned to be prepared for the sugar craving by bring fruit that is already cut up and prepared. Naturally when you want something sweet and you think about the fruit, you really don't want it at all, but if you make yourself eat it anyway, it will often do the trick. The fruits I use most for this is fresh pineapple and Asian Pears. They seem the sweetest. Try this and let us know if it helps.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2004 at 4:39PM
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I have found that chewing gum helps me. I get that sweet taste and it lasts for a while. I love the Winterfresh gum and it's 10 calories a piece. I chew it mostly while at work and it really satisfies that craving for sweets.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2004 at 11:15AM
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I loved the cinnamon - Big Red gum - my other tactic is to go total reverse and grab the dill pickles. The crunchiest, tastiest ones I can find. Try eating chocolate after dill pickles....


    Bookmark   February 28, 2004 at 11:26AM
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I, too, love sweets, and before WW I would eat many sweet things a day. But what I have realized is that the more sweets I eat, the MORE sweets I crave. It's a vicious cycle. Since being on WW, my cravings have significantly reduced. I no longer HAVE to have cookies, ice cream, or chocolate. I can usually satisfy my sweet tooth with SF Jello with FF cool whip (0 points on WW). I could have never done that before. It's important NOT to deprive yourself. Just try to slowly wean yourself from the high calorie sweets, subbing them for low-cal ones. Drink lots of water and focus on eating healthy. As others have suggested, try gum or mints. Have low-cal (low point) ice creams in your freezer (like Skinny Cow) rather than full-fat. Try not to have tempting high-cal/high-fat treats in your home. At least make it harder for yourself to obtain these sweets. When you have a craving, try doing something else for 20 minutes - many times my cravings will go away. Good luck. You are not alone!

    Bookmark   February 29, 2004 at 2:23AM
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Are you exercising? 1200-1300 calories a day is not a lot, and even with the additional 200 calories of candy/sweets/chocolate, 1400-1500 calories is not a lot either. It doesn't sound like you are overeating, just maintaining your current weight.

If you are not exercising, I bet just adding some daily exercise to your routine would result in weight loss without changing a single thing in your diet.

If you are already exercising, how often? Perhaps more often, or longer duration, would be the answer.

I would not substitute sugar with Spenda or any other artificial sweetener.


    Bookmark   February 29, 2004 at 11:25AM
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Thanks for all the suggestions.

I do exercise - usually 3 hours of aerobics tapes/week and 4-5 miles of walking.

Yes, I'm not gaining, just maintaining that 5-7 lbs over what feels right. I am short 5'3", have a small frame, and slow metabolism, so the 1400-1500 total is enough. I am really amazed when I see my friends who are not that different in size be able to chow down much more when we get together. They probably eat double the portions of main dishes. But I've accepted that I just can't do that.

Weaning myself off sweets sounds like a possible path. E.g. after lunch I feel like I just can't get back to work without the sweet taste, but I could probably make the taste really a taste LOL. I have also asked my husband to hide some and offer them to me only when I ask which helps.

But I'm sure other folks run into this - I am
the main grocery shopper and have other family members to buy for. I don't want to completely deprive my kids of sweets because they won't get the experience of approaching them in a healthy manner. It is really hard for me to have a package of [whatever] around without dipping into it more than I should.

    Bookmark   February 29, 2004 at 4:52PM
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I'm reading Bob Greene's "Get with the Program" and a lot of it has to do with our metabolism. Your friends most likely have a higher metabolism. He talks about eating more at breakfast and having smaller dinners, etc. Very interesting!


    Bookmark   March 1, 2004 at 12:52AM
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I'm not a big breakfast person, so my main meal is dinner. Try some frozen fruit---I've been slicing bananas and oranges and flash-freezing them. Satisfies my sweet cravings.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2004 at 11:07AM
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You are right! Frozen banaas are wonderful treats for my taste!

    Bookmark   March 1, 2004 at 12:50PM
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scc ms,

I too am 5'3" and have a very slow metabolism. I sit at a desk ten hours a day so that makes it tough too. I'm in the same predicament you are in that I have to eat much less than anyone else just to maintain. Loosing is even harder. I seem to be at a standstill now. I lost eight pounds, but now I can't seem to loose another pound. I need to loose about twenty more. I'm eating healthy but it isn't coming off so I feel your pain.

I sometimes chew Trident Cinnamon gum. There are no calories.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2004 at 11:10AM
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Double Bubble puts out a sugarless gum in bags that I get at Walmart. They are 88 cents. I usually buy a bunch at a time. THEY REALLY HELP. Just when you want something sweet substitute gum a few times a day INSTEAD of the sugary goodies.
Slowly you can start weaning yourself off of some of it. I KNOW the craving for sugar..boy have I been there!
Find some kind of substitute, and start using it slowly, then see how you do...Good Luck!

    Bookmark   March 4, 2004 at 3:49PM
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I had a lifelong addiction to sweets. I knew it often did wicked things to my blood sugar levels (and my weight), but I wasn't motivated to deal with the issue until it was pointed out to me that my dangerously high triglycerides were caused by excess carbohydrate consumption. Apparently "excess" is a relative term, depending on the person in question. I was taking in more carbs than my body could handle.

I didn't wean myself off sugar. I couldn't stop smoking that way, and I couldn't give up sugar that way. I was highly addicted to both, and the only way I could stop either was cold turkey. I can relate to your feelings of depression...I was in a bad mood for weeks (maybe longer), but when I reached the point where I was no longer craving sweets it felt sooo good!

In the beginning I couldn't even think about life without ice cream or chocolate, so I had to concentrate on "one day at a time." Now, almost nine years later, I'm not even tempted. I keep ice cream in the house for other people, and when I dish it up I don't even lick the spoon. I've had to be really strict about this, though. While I occasionally indulge in other kinds of carbs--bread, etc.--candy, cakes, etc., are absolutely no allowed. Not even a bite. It's the only way I can be free of cravings, and it's well worth it.

Incidentally, I haven't substituted artificial sweeteners. I can't tolerate Nutra-Sweet, I don't trust Splenda (it tastes way too sweet to me anyway), and I like to eat foods as close to their natural state as possible. When you don't eat "sweets," it's amazing how many foods taste somewhat sweet on their own.

Best of luck!


    Bookmark   March 7, 2004 at 5:06PM
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Oh, wow, Susan. Giving up sweets cold turkey!!! Yikes! But it's good to hear that you have no cravings now.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2004 at 1:10AM
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