Hi, this is my first time looking into a group like this. I

Hi, this is my first time looking into a group like this. I've been struggling with sweets more than usual for over 2 years now. I've always been good about keeping things under control, but now that I continue to gain weight which is causing me to feel less confident, I'm finding it's becoming more difficult to hold my ground and stick to my goals. I try to get my husband to help me by saying something to discourage me from eating sweets, but he never does. I'm hoping that this group will help me to meet others who may be going through the same struggle. This way I can have a support system to help me in holding myself accountable.

1 Heart

Giving up sugar too quickly can also cause traditional withdrawal symptoms. In animal studies, rats that had been fed a steady diet of sugar water exhibited signs of depression, anxiety, and lethargy when the sweet water was removed. Fox experienced this, too, after she transitioned from 40 teaspoons of sugar a day to just five in the course of a week. "The first two weeks were really hard. As soon as I was fighting the cravings I realized how often I wanted sugar, especially right after I finished a meal," she said. "I also got stomach cramps and headaches."

Avena's approach involves giving up things every few weeks. Start by removing sugary beverages like juice and soda, then move on to junk food, then reduce—though not completely remove—carbohydrates such as cereal and bread. Finally, you should try to reduce those foods containing "hidden" sugar like the aforementioned salad dressings. (Condiments are sneaky—even mayonnaise contains sugar!) This requires educating yourself about all the aliases sugar goes by on packaging.

According to Avena, there are about 52 different names for sugar. "It's not going to say just 'sugar' on the back. It might say 'maltodextrose' or 'dextrin,' or some other chemical sounding name," she warned. "Unless you're familiar with it, you won't know that it's just a code word for sugar."

So if you're successful quitting sugar, what benefits can you expect? My hope, and it's the premise of Avena's book, is to lose some weight and feel less lethargic in the afternoons. Fox found that her skin improved, she started sleeping better, and she had more energy for her workouts. "Since controlling my sugar, I feel like I have reset my body in a weird way. I don't feel as edgy or anxious," she said. "I don't yawn for an hour between 3pm and 4pm."

Finally, giving up sugar should revive your taste buds. I mentioned to Avena that over the holidays I tried to substitute a handful of blueberries for a handful of M&M's with poor results. She said that because we're so over-stimulated with sweetness all day, we don't notice it in foods that are naturally sweet. Fox experienced this. "The real freaky side effect is my sense of taste. Now I can taste sweetness in foods that I never noticed before, like broccoli."

While I'm not sure I'll ever consider broccoli worthy of dessert, the concept of quitting, or at least cutting down on, sugar appeals to me. I'm going to start—just as soon as I finish this bag of Swedish fish.

1 Heart

@Jennipain Thank you for sharing this. It’s more encouraging to know that it is better to slowly cut down on my sugar intake rather than try to quit cold turkey. I feel so much better because yesterday I tried to not eat any sugar and made until the evening when I broke down and ate two fun size Twix bars leftover from Halloween. I felt like such a failure. So now I’m encouraged to know that it’s ok. If each day I can consume less and less, I will be better equipped to reach my goal. Again thank you for taking the time to write to me!