Important Update: Calorie Count will be shutting down on March 15th. Please click here to read the announcement. Data export is available.
I have started looking at my analysis and I have noticed that I am averaging about 200% of the RDA for sugar daily!! This can't be good for me but I crave it so bad. I think I am truly addicted. I have managed to cut out Dr. Peppers fighting tooth and nail everyday but substitute juice spritzers or a natural cane sugar soda like root beer (only allowed 1 per day). But I have sugar cravings like crazy all day and often fit cookies or other sweets into my daily calories. How can I fight this to get my sugar to a reasonable level? My father died at age 25 from low blood sugar, turned out he had been medicating himself for years with soda, donuts, etc... Please try to offer suggestions that dont include sugar subs like splenda as I have a weird reaction to foods that contain them.
When you eat sugar it SURGES into your blood-stream very quickly and provides a burst of energy. Your body quickly starts to produce massive amounts of insulin to deal with the sugar and get your blood-sugar back down to normal. The insulin carries on working and then you get a blood-sugar CRASH because they've gone too low. Result..... you feel tired, hungry, low, lacking in energy and craving an energy fix.
So you eat some sugar....... Over time, this vicious circle leads to obesity, insulin-resistance and possibly type II diabetes.
Refined starch & heavily processed foods act exactly the same way and turn to sugar in the bloodstream almost as fast as sugar itself. White bread, white rice, noodles, chips, fries, biscuits, cake, doughnuts, pizza, sodas, ready-meals, sugary sauces.... These spike the blood-sugars and you're back on the sugar spike/insulin/sugar crash merry-go-round. These foods are grouped as 'High GI' which stands for their high 'Glycaemic Index'... how fast they are absorbed into the bloodstream.
So how to fix it.... You have to take refined starch, processed foods, sugar and artifical sweetners out of your diet as much as possible. Replace them with high fibre wholegrains, pulses (legumes) naturally sweet foods like fruit, lean proteins, fresh vegetables, dairy products, fresh water to drink. Old-fashioned, 'natural' foods you need to chop up or cook rather than things that come out of a packet and go 'ping'! Wholemeal bread instead of white bread. Porridge oatmeal rather than Cheerios. These foods are grouped as 'Low GI'.... they don't spike the bloodsugars, they dampen cravings and they provide long-lasting energy.
Next you have to eat REGULARLY. A meal or a snack every couple of hours. Low blood-sugars and sugar cravings also happens if you go too long between eating. So don't let yourself get to that point. Have a Low GI snack ready to go.... an oatcake and some peanut butter, a piece of fruit....
Finally, you have to eat ENOUGH. Change the diet first, get the sweet tooth under control and then restrict the calories. If you try restricting the calories too quickly you can end up hungry, craving sugar and back to square one. Eat regularly, choose your foods carefully and eat until you're full.
I've known complete sugar addicts change their habits & tastes entirely in about 2 - 3 weeks. It's NOT easy at first and you need to be highly motivated but, once you get through the first week it gets a lot easier. Do read up on 'Low GI' eating methods. If you're in danger of being diabetic or hypoglycaemic like your father it could literally save your life.
Restraining a sweet tooth will take time so wishing you patience through that. Fruit has always been diet food to me but due to dramatically reduced sugar intake over time with my diet, Ive really come to appreciate how sweet they are. Thankfully there are so many to pick form.
Ive always drank diet drinks but whenever Ive had some sweetened drink like nondiet soda followed by my diet drink, it temporarily makes my diet drink taste flavorless. Ive always suspected this is why reg diet drinkers often cant imagine drinking diet drinks. Allow yourself time to adjust to decreasing your sugar intake.
Tea! try and drink tea if you like it. there are teas that have a natural sweetness from some of the herbs. try some of the organic "dieter's" teas. my favorite is Yogi Tea "licorice" flavor. It doesn't actually taste anything like licorice, so don't let that scare you. It has cardomom (a spice) in it which gives it a natural sweetness. you could even brew it ahead of time and then put it in the fridge for iced tea. It may take a while to get used to since it is not as powerfully sweet as actual sugar, but maybe it could curb your craving for a while. Also, I have heard of alternative sweetners such as agave nectar (they extract it from a cactus) which can be found in a health food store. It has less calories per gram than regular sugar. Also you can buy xylotol, which is a sugar alcohol in the health food store which also has less calories than regular sugar. google sugar alternatives.
good luck, over time you will kick that habit!
Oh yeah, another natural sweetner I have head of is stevia. Also fould in health food store. I have heard that some people don't like the taste though.