Too Sweet

someone brought cookies to work

Hi, My name is Kim and I am a sugar addict.

I know I wrote a blog post just last summer about limiting sugar. It is something I strive to do and have been success at different times in my life.

However, right now is not one of those times. Right now my sugar addiction is probably as bad as it has ever been. I recently decided to do 100 days alcohol free and at the same time recommit to my Low Fodmap diet for my SIBO diagnosis. Being alcohol free hasn’t really been an issue. I am on day 11 and so far only one night when my husband wanted to open a bottle of wine with dinner that I was mildly tempted to have some, but otherwise I haven’t really even thought about it.

HOWEVER During this process of paying a lot more attention to all the things I am eating I realized just how bad the sweet tooth had become.

The Low Fodmap diet does not require you to be sugar free, only limit the fermentable sugars you encounter in a variety of foods. Candies like gummy bears, Laffy Taffy, Butterfingers, Reese’s Pieces, Skittles and Swedish Fish are all considered Low Fodmap as long as you don’t overdo it.

Well, I was overdoing it. Once I start with sweets it’s really hard to stop. I was giving myself permission to eat them because the diet can feel really restricted otherwise so my thinking was “as long as it’s Low Fodmap I can have some!”

me, seven days ago

But I knew I had a problem. I was eating sweets multiple times a day. Definitely some after each meal, and maybe some in between too. I had candies stashed in my desk at work, in my drawer at home, in my car, in my purse. I never wanted my supply to run out. I would sneak some of my daughter’s treats when we got home and she wasn’t paying attention, before my husband came home. I would sneak more when he was doing his part of the bedtime routine with her. I consciously didn’t want him to see me eating her candy. True addict behavior.

So 6 days ago I decided my goals needed adjusting. I am still doing the 100 days sober, but now I am also cutting out sugary treats. No candies, no sweets, no adding sugar to tea (something I never do anyway).

HOLY SHIT. This has been so hard. So much harder than the alcohol. I feel like it is harder this time than when I have done this in the past. Maybe it’s the same. But IT SUCKS. I think about sugar all the time. I crave sugar all the time. It’s only been 6 days.

I know this seems crazy, but here are some of the symptoms I have been feeling the last 6 days

  • Headaches
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Trouble Concentrating
  • Sugar Cravings

I can’t believe I have let myself get to this point! I consider myself to be pretty health conscious, but I am also usually against traditional dieting. I follow a Low Fodmap diet for gut issues but not to lose weight. I also know that too much deprivation can backfire. So this is something I need to take into consideration.

However, I also know myself. I know that I don’t do as well when I am told to just “cut back.” I am much more effective at going cold-turkey. Once I am in a place where the cravings have gone, then I can allow myself to go back on my “limited sugar” plan. It is always a struggle with me though. Sugar is my biggest vice and eventually I end up slipping back into these bad habits of overindulgence. So it will likely be something I have to work on forever.

It sucks right now, but there is light at the end of this tunnel. It’s just that the tunnel right now feels like the tunnel in the boat scene from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

23 comments

  1. I have a nagging suspicion I would go through the same thing if I cut out sugar. Since I gave up alcohol 11 months ago, I think I see it as even more of a treat that I deserve, or use it to make me feel momentary happiness (did I mention my husband has been deployed for 3 and a half months now?). So yes, I think I need to give it some serious thought/attention and probably need to cut it out as well…I’m just not looking forward to it! You’re awesome!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Some people are able to cut back without going cold turkey. I am not one of them. Having a deployed husband would make it double hard. I wish you luck if you decide to try it. As you know the first couple weeks are the hardest then it slowly gets better

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  2. Brave woman, you, giving up alcohol and sugar at the same time!
    My own sugar addiction has always revolved around specific candies. I can say no to chocolate (although I’ll eat it occasionally). But for many years, I ate cinnamon discs, so many that I’d buy them in bulk. They were a stress-reliever, I think. And I chewed them after sucking on them briefly. When I broke one, then a second tooth, I realized I had to quit. But…I replaced them with caramels, to which I also became so addicted I started buying them in bulk, too (the individually-wrapped Brachs caramels) eating up to ten a day. About a year ago, my dentist showed me an x-ray of root decay and asked, “Do you eat a lot of sugar?” I went cold turkey on the caramels (like you, that method is my only hope). Thinking about the dental damage made it easy. Now, I might eat one or two caramels every once in a great while; I’m certainly no longer addicted.
    But the real problem with sugar is it’s everywhere, hiding in so many foods. I can’t imagine eliminating it completely from my diet!
    I hope your withdrawal symptoms abate soon…

    Liked by 1 person

    • It would be impossible to completely eliminate all sugars. You body turns most foods you eat into sugars. Your brain needs them to function. I am still eating fruit, and carbs, and some dairy. I even noticed my salad dressing has a bit of added sugars, but for now I am not going to go crazy trying to eliminate all those foods because even just cutting out the candies and sweets I am having all the withdrawal symptoms :/

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  3. Yep that’s tough. Sugar is incredibly addictive. Think cold turkey is the way forward. That’s sort of what I did. It’s hard though cause sugar is added to pretty much everything. You might read Gary taubes brilliant (and readable) ‘the case against sugar’ for some psychological bolstering!

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  4. I probably have too much sugar as well. But with the other stuff I’ve given up (especially coffee) I’ve sort of just ignored it. The 16 hour fasting has helped as its forced me to cut down. In the 8 hours of eating I tend to be too full after one meal to squeeze in too many sugar’s. Also having a bag of dried fruit always open has pulled me away from the sweets. Really good luck with your quest. You can do this.

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  5. Hi Kimi, I highly recommend the Monash University app while doing this diet. Best $8-$15 or whatever it was I’ve spent. It will tell you about sweets you can have that you might not have thought about. Have you gotten to the point where your GI symptoms have subsided yet? Have you considered seeing a nutritionist to help you? I would never have made it without mine. Be careful with what you source from the Internet about what is approved on the diet. It has morphed over time and a lot of sources are still repeating old info.

    Be careful with fruit. (I know that is not what you want to hear right now.) Most fruit is not available on the diet. I will say that my sensitivity to sweets has gotten dramatically heightened and I cannot even eat a lot of candies any more for them being too sickeningly sweet now, so that is a good thing. Also things that I never considered sweet are – carrots, peas… there are rewards! Not to mention your liver and pancreas will thank you! Best of luck!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have the app! So I know there are only certain “approved” fruits. The Fodmap diet does technically allow for some sweet treats but this is beyond that, haha. I need to get the cravings under control so I am no longer overdoing it all the time. Then I will try adding some back in small portions.

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    • Oh! And I do have a GI doctor and dietitian who have helped me with the Fodmap diet, plus some adjustments based on my personal sensitivities. I completely agree that finding professional help to figure this stuff out is essential. There’s a lot of misinformation and you could be missing important diagnoses if you are just using Dr. Google.

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  6. I was having a really interesting convo about this sort of thing with my personal trainer yesterday except our was centred around coffee. We were saying that the point of these elimination sometimes is more about taking back the control that thing, whatever it is, is placing on us. I’m serious thinking about dropping coffee when I do my 50 in 50 exercise challenge (starts day 50 of no booze funnily enough). And it’s not because I think the amount of coffee is bad for me but because I know I’m addicted and I want to break that cycle. Good luck with the sugar!! I hope the torture of the deprivation is easing a little.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I had to give up coffee because it really doesn’t agree with my gut. It wasn’t easy. I switched to black tea and then green. I will still have black tea once in a while and coffee very rarely. The sugar has been harder though. It’s as much a drug as coffee, caffeine, tobacco… I hadn’t really decided how long I’d do this sugar detox. Maybe 50 days is a good goal, or I may just of the full 100 along with the alcohol…

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  7. You remember what I did last year… I had to go totally cold turkey on sugar! It’s hard! But you do it to break the dependency. And then you can add minimal stuff back in – hopefully in a controlled fashion! I found when I was doing it that my tastebuds changed over time and I stopped liking all the sweets I usually ate… It’s difficult to explain but I started craving healthier stuff instead. Of course I went off plan a bit so now trying to get back on! But you can definitely do it. I’d say stick with it – the first two weeks are the hardest and then it becomes normal!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the encouragement! I am 10 days in and this morning I poured a bowl of rice chex cereal and they tasted sweet! So I am seeing the change in taste buds already. Still craving actual candies and sweets but it has abated some.

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