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    addiction to sweets!
    jhilton1 posted:
    I had this feeling that my wanting sweets was more than a want, and more of an addiction. So I decided to track my cravings one day, and I believe 100% that it is an addiction - just like smoking! Every 30-45 minutes I was thinking about sweets! I journaled it down and this is how it looked.

    8:00 in the morning, there is a jolly rancher in my mouth. Does that count? Darn it that counts.
    8:45 and I am thinking about looking for something sweet. Im thinking M&Ms or something of the like. Resisting though
    9:17 hm wonder if this gum counts? I am just really hungry right now, and its the only option within reach
    9:42 I have spit out the flavorless gum, and am RAVENOUS!
    10:20 and my stomach is eating itself. There is a stick thin drug rep standing in the hallway with a bucket of chocolate UGH!
    10:23 she came by practically throwing candy at us I said no, but Teresa insisted. Enablers. Must hide reeses egg from myself!
    10:56 ACK! The reeses egg and I locked eyes! resisting! Actually, just threw it in the trash. Go me!
    11:45 finished my lunch and they had three different types of cakes in the break room. I want some SO bad, but I walked away and I feel the "need" for sweets!
    1:45 caught myself bargaining in my head "ill just have one chocolate" was just a stray thought, had to wonder where it came from.
    2:05 CHOCOLATE CHOCOLATE CHOCOLATE! why am I depriving myself of chocolate?????
    Decided I was no longer going to deprive myself so I went downstairs to get cake.... it was gone, WHEW but there was left over pita bread - carbo load!!! ugh!
    2:34 contemplating the reeses that is in the trash.
    3:21 feeling completely deprived I was on the hunt for food. Anything! I found a bottle of sprinkles. SPRINKLES! Hid in the bathroom and downed half the bottle! WTH is wrong with me!?!? I feel gross now, and they weren't that good, but I couldn't stop!

    I wish I knew how to get over this addiction!
    Haylen_WebMD_Staff responded:
    Great job of journaling! I know that is a great first step to understanding and overcoming an unhealthy act.

    Can't wait to hear others in this community chime in.

    Have you ever tried to "break" your addiction to sweets? If so, how long did you make it and did the craving ever go away?

    Foreverinyoureyes2 responded:

    I hope you meant for your post to be funny, because I laughed out loud the whole time. It was hilariously written!

    With that said, even though you wrote it in a funny fashion, I understand that it is a real problem.

    I have 2 suggestions. I have said here before that for me carbs (any simple sugars really) beget carbs for me. The more I eat, the more I crave. When that happens to me, I limit the carbs, and opt for an eating plan that is higher in protein. I make sure that the carbs that I am eating of the highest nutritional quality. I snack on nuts and low fat cheese, and make sure that my fruit and whole grain breads are earlier in the day. If I do this for a couple of days after a carb-frenzy I generally see a noticable drop in my carb cravings and what I call faux-hunger.

    My second suggestion is a plan my husband and I implemented just last night. There is a dessert at one of our local resteraunts that is just ridiculously good. It is a cross between a cookie, cake and pie and is served with ice cream. It is so decadent, but seriously worth every calorie. We made a deal with each other that if we have good eating weeks, then we will have a Sunday night 'date' and share this dessert.

    Bribery works well with me....
    jhilton1 replied to Foreverinyoureyes2's response:
    Thank you for your suggestions. I did write it funny, thats just my personality, but I really feel I have a problem. I honestly think it was easier for me to quit smoking (cold turkey) than it has been for me to give up sweets!!! I know that is the only thing holding me back from where I want to be weight wise too!
    nursingbug replied to jhilton1's response:
    I have this problem as well, and I would say that your journal mimics my own internal monologe!
    The best I have ever done is to restrict my sweets to only a few times a week, and only eat whole foods. I try to eat fruit for snacks. The first few days are bad and then I don't crave them so much. Try to only eat a sweet a that is worth it like foreverinyoureyes- I have done that and it works. This year I realized I really don't like girl scout cookies, it is just an excuse to eat chocolate!
    jean4u responded:

    My addiction is to pizza and salty crunchy snacks. But, on the other hand if I get started with cake or pie, I can get out of control.

    The 1st step is to realize what we really have an issue with foodwise. Then it's like OK when we go out to a party and they have cake or pizza, if it's after dinner, I can not have any of it. I allowed myself 1 piece of pizza and end up with 4 and this was after a full dinner. Now, I drink a 20 oz. Crystal Light and eat a chocolate fiber bar on the way to the party. The full tummy gives me control. And believe it or not, self control is like a muscle, the more you do it, the bigger it gets.

    Here's a quote: Aim for better everyday rather than perfect right away.

    Are you getting 64 oz of water (Crystal Light, the new cherry pomegrante is good)? Chocolate fiber bars are very filling, too.


    Let us know how you do. We care.
    jhilton1 replied to jean4u's response:
    Thanks for the tips Barb! I made a mental note to do it right yesterday. My main trouble (as you can see by my journal) Is that I want sweets during the day. So yesterday every time i saw sweets or wanted sweets I stopped, and thought it over. I didnt have any sweets all day long! And the cravings werent as bad toward the end of the day as they usually are! I did have a small cup of chocolate yogurt when I got home, but I didnt gorge, and I didnt spend all day with sweets in my mouth, I am very proud of that! My goal is to cut sweets out except for the occasional treat. I dont want to give up chocolate for good forever, thats unreasonable
    Haylen_WebMD_Staff replied to jhilton1's response:
    Congrats jhilton!!! Does a serving of really yummy fruit help stave off the sweet craving? I LOVE mango - that works for me (at times)

    jhilton1 replied to Haylen_WebMD_Staff's response:
    Fruit does help! I just dont always have it around, I have started putting some flavor packets in my water, and chewing sugarless gum
    GizsMom replied to jhilton1's response:
    Hi, I loved reading this as it is exactly what happens with me and i have a couple of tricks which really help me. 1. I squirt a little lemon juice in my dringking water, which seems to help. 2. Most importantly, though, I have a couple of VERY tart dill pickle chips after i eat any grain carbs, pasta, etc. I dont have desert much any more, so i dont know if it works with that, but it may. This can be hard to do when you are in that craving mode, but believe me, it really works. My most diffiuclt time is following dinner so this works out pretty well, as I am usually at home. It takes about 15-20 minutes for the dill effect to work, but I promise if you hang in there, the craving that begins AFTER you eat, (I loved your description of "Faux hunger") does go away.
    An_202301 responded:
    I don't crave sweets all day, but I have similar cravings (ie: your 2:05 moment) right after I eat a meal. And I have tried some of the suggestions from comments too.

    My post lunch craving is the hardest to overcome because I am at work and if I don't eat something - it starts to really distract me. Identical to your writing above. I stop myself and then 15 minutes later I go back to it (maybe just 1 hershey kiss...No...). 15 minutes later ("Would a strawberry satisfy?"...not working...what now?). So, I eat dessert when I am at work. I TRY to manage it by having preset portions so I keep the dessert to 150 calories or under.

    I have better luck with my nighttime cravings (I get less lost in my obsession because my family is around and doing a bunch of things at once). Currently I am in the mode of "no desserts" when I am home, but like Foreverinyoureyes2 said, I tell myself that if I am successful all week I can have my favorite on the weekend (Ben & Jerry's). I'm finding that when the weekend comes - I don't even want it. This weekend, despite no desserts all week, I only had a small frozen yogurt on the weekend.

    Cravings and sugar management has been a life long effort for me. But I do feel that the more you stop, but less you crave. I am not even capable of eating the sugar content I used to eat 20 years ago. For example I used to brownie ice cream sundaes every week. On a vacation recently, I splurged and ordered a sundae. Not even half way through I felt sick to my stomach. I will never attempt to splurge like again. A simple ice cream cone is all I need to splurge.
    Pamela Peeke, MD, MPH, FACP responded:
    Hi and thanks so much for your posting. You are absolutely correct. Science now shows that there is a direct correlation between the consumption of refined sugar and actual biological changes that have occured in your brain and baseline physiology. I wrote a WebMD blog about this in Everyday Fitness with Dr. Pam Peeke where I describe what happens. Here are a few tidbits and what you need to do.

    Experiments showed that when people who compulsively overeat are shown pictures of their favorite binge foods, their brains light up in precisely the same place (the reward center of the brain that secretes the pleasure chemical dopamine) as cocaine addicts when presented with that drug. Rodent studies show that you can take perfectly normal rats and turn them into junk food addicts with constant consumption of refined sugars and fats. They'll cross an electrified floor to access these foods if presented with that challenge. They refuse to eat normal healthy chow, withdrawing and starving in anticipation of the junk. If you have any genetics in your family for any kind of addiction, especially alcohol, you're more likely to become food addicted if your environment encourages that.

    What to do? It's best to treat refined sugar like alcohol. Avoid it like the plague. Be vigilant about where it can hide--- read labels carefully. You'll have to detox yourself off the stuff. It's made easier by staying physically active, mentally busy, getting to bed early and avoiding persons, places and things that present temptation. You need to get clean. Read my blog for more suggestions.

    If it's any consolation, a large number of men and women out there have become addicted and are facing the same challenge. You're not alone. You can do this. Plan your detox and use your inner power to get through this. I would suggest you get a registered dietitian to help you and if you can, a fitness professional to help guide you. You don't need to see these people frequently, but a monthly accountability really helps.

    I'd really highly recommend the WebMD Food and Fitness Planner to track and to help coach you along as well.

    Good luck and please tell us how you're doing.

    Dr. Peeke
    brunosbud replied to Pamela Peeke, MD, MPH, FACP's response:
    "...Rodent studies show that you can take perfectly normal rats and turn them into junk food addicts with constant consumption..."

    I believe that any "food" that has been processed to the point that fiber content has been obliterated (or non existence) is "junk"...a prescription for metabolic syndrome.

    I doubt few would agree...

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