Confession: My Sugar Addiction has Returned

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Back in May, I wrote a blog titled "Confession: I'm Breaking My Sugar Addiction". At that point I had significantly cut back on the amount of candy, cookies, cake, etc. that I was consuming. I felt better (both physically and mentally) and had more energy. I thought I had finally changed my eating habits, only eating treats now and then (instead of daily.) But since then, things haven't exactly gone as planned….

Basically, I fell off the "less sugar" wagon. Back in September I suffered a running injury and had a few other things happen in my life that threw me for a loop. Instead of staying focused on my goals, I started to get off track. It wasn't until a few months later that I realized I had fallen back into my old sugar addiction habits: I craved sweets after lunch and dinner, and instead of being satisfied with something small, I wanted bigger things- like a giant piece of my son's birthday cake instead of a reasonable slice. I've gained a few pounds back, but I try not to stress about that too much. What has disappointed me more than anything is that I know exactly what I need to do to get back on track. But so far, I haven't done it.

Every day I wake up saying "Today is the day where I will feel good instead of guilty about my food choices." But every day I find one reason or another why I need that extra handful of M&M's. I know that my body can quickly get used to cutting back on the dessert and I won't crave it so much. So what is it going to take to get my mind onboard? I felt like writing this blog is making me put it out there, and publicly say that enough is enough. My diet is generally very healthy, but sweets are my downfall. I'm tired of feeling guilty, so it's time to make the changes necessary for me to feel better about my food choices. It's time for me to get back on the wagon and start practicing what I preach.

So here we go…….

What do you think? Have you recently fallen off-track with your goals? What are you doing to get things moving in the right direction again?

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KAREN_EDMONDS 11/25/2020
After 3 years on Spark I still struggle with sweets. I try to keep them out of the house. If I give in to my cravings I don't beat myself up, I just move on and do better the next day. Report
GINNABOOTS 10/13/2020
Yes I have been on the sugar again. Injured my back lifting weights and am riding the sugar train! I eat clean, but have been eating fun size hershey candy bars for a dessert. Made banana bread for my husband last night and normally it doesn't even appeal to me, but I had a piece. I am getting on the scale today, hoping that will get me back into gear. Report
MILPAM3 9/11/2020
What wagon? Was there a wagon? Report
CKOUDSI617 8/2/2020
Some trigger foods for me are cheese and peanut butter. I have to be very careful because I refuse to give them up completely. I have a close friend who lives on sweets (and very little else). She is 86 and has always been that way. She's about 5'4" and weighs in the 180's but she's doing okay. Moderation for some things (like alcohol in my case) is just not possible. I hope you find a way to get a handle on your sugar habit. It's really tough to resist temptations when you're stuck inside and isolated. Best wishes! Report
I have overcome the sugar traps by watching where others have failed and say to myself, "Let's not do that." Report
I, too, am having the same problem. Report
PWILLOW1 2/23/2020
It's all or nothing with me. So hard to control long term.
KOALA_BEAR 1/1/2020
Clearly this is a hot topic. Sweet foods are hard wired into our genes so that our ancestors could get the calories they needed back when food wasn't plentiful w/out a lot of energy expenditure. So no one should feel any shame that you want or crave sugar! The issue is the food industry creating all this refined stuff that overloads our system.
I too struggle & find that having sufficient protein early in the day helps along w/ fat. Protein limits the hunger & fat has the satisfaction factor so include at breakfast, lunch & AM snack. I eat many complex carbs including barley; legumes; baked, raw, steamed or lightly sauteed vegetables (at least 3 a day, for example: Brussel sprouts, carrots, bell peppers or kale, tomatoes & onions) plus 2 fruits - at least one raw - daily. I try to have one of those fruits in the evening when my sweet tooth seems to kick in. However if I do end up having anything else planned, I keep dried fruit on hand & am partial to pineapple or dates. I eat along w/ some nuts then an occasional treat of a couple squares of dark chocolate or 2 boards of cinnamon Graham crackers which helps me w/ portion control. Some hot herb tea or cold mineral water (depends on the season) helps fill me up.
When stressed, I also try diverting to a different flavor (for me, that's salt) or texture like a slice of full fat cheese, pretzels, olives, corn chips. I recall someone back in my WW days turning to sweet pickles vs a candy bar.
I noticed that when I started again bringing pints of sorbet or non dairy frozen desserts into the house that my portions became half a container so I'm back to making faux ice cream using frozen bananas & berries using my Dessert Bullet (another one is called Yonanas.) It has really saved me. Much healthier since it's all fruit, no added refined sugar, & no artificial chemicals. Stevia isn't perfect either as you don't know what part of the plant you're getting & it's still processed. While I have used everything from diet gelatin to aspartame to raw honey, I certainly recognize that a little maple syrup once a year or so is fine, eating food from a science lab regularly is not. SP & my fellow Sparkers are helping me on that journey to better health & I hope to better fitness & longevity as well. Report
KHALIA2 12/12/2019
Thanks! Report
My experience tells me that it is actually fairly easy to break a sugar addiction, but it is equally easy to get back on the bandwagon. And like smoking or drinking, it is very dangerous to have "just one". Fortunately, I seem to be craving sugar less and less, but I definitely have my moments. It is a constant battle. Report
Good article on a thought provoking topic. I am also addicted to sweets... and really hope I can ditch them too. Good Luck! Report
YES! This could be me! I lost about 70 lbs primarily by completely eliminating sugar and refined starches. No cake, no cookies, no pasta, no bread (not even whole grain bread), no junk food, no honey, just stevia in my coffee and tea, NO alcohol, and above all NO ICE CREAM. I managed to stay "on the wagon" for about a year....

Then I discovered Halo Top ice cream. Darned if I didn't start eating one, then two, then SEVERAL pints a week. And sure enough, once I got a taste of that sugar, the cravings came back. Pretty soon I found myself unable to resist the baked treats my co-workers were bringing in. Sure enough, I climbed back on the scale a week ago and discovered that I'd gained back TEN POUNDS!!

I know that some researcher somewhere announced recently that sugar addiction wasn't real, but I KNOW, based on my own experience and the comments I read here, that the study must have been flawed. There's no question that it is absolutely possible to be addicted to sugar, and I have to stay away from it just as an alcoholic must stay away from wine, beer, and liquor.

Absolutely Report
Great. Report
I gave up drinking and smoking! Since I have such an addictive personality, I am doing the same with sweets. I tried to limit myself but it never lasted. I just wanted more! I am now 33 days without sweets! Report
I am a recovering alcoholic, so I know the importance of not having even a taste of my drug. I treat sugar the same way. Report
great article Report
It is a very useful post about the sugar addiction.
r-addiction/ Report
I gave up added sugar for a year and have had a relapse, can’t seem to make myself get back on track. I feel so much better without sugar in my diet, I just have to make better choices. It is hard once you let sugar back in your life . Report
I have decided after going sugar free & then going back to eating lots of sugary foods, several times that somehow I need to find a balance & stick to it. Sweets are my comfort, sadly. Report
I'm more into salty, crunchy snacks. Report
Fallen and stood up many times! Report
Thank you for sharing...great article! :) Report
I don't remember actually writhing this blog. You sound exactly like me! I am into the sweets again and know what I must do, but can't seem to do it. I am also such a procrastinator which is why I didn't actually write it. I'm sure it is part of why I'm having trouble. I hope we can both get back on that wagon. Report
To see that others (lots of other) share this dilemma seems to be comforting but it also gives me another excuse....oh well this is something we all deal with. An addiction is something we cannot control however, there are ways to rise above any addiction. A lot of it for me is being accountable. I have asked my husband to question me daily about my food choices. When it gets really bad, I find I start "fibbing" about it. I need to accept the fact that sugar, for me, is poison. One small piece of a lower sugar/carb pie put me back into craving. It is better for me to not have anything in the house that I cannot eat. Work, well I have a co-worker that I made myself accountable to. Having to tell on myself helps to put the brakes on the consumption. The sneaking food to my desk days are OVER! I can do this, I am worth it!

Happy 2012 to are what help me in my battle of the bulge!
It's probably the stress. It happens to me too. I need a sense of accomplishment to help me get back on track. Any way you could take a day off to pamper yourself? Rest, destress, give yourself some healthy treats, enjoy the sense of doing everything right, and then go from there. Report
Good luck!!! I too am going through this ... Report
I seem to be addicted to carbohydrates but I don't think I could stick to a low carb diet Report
I just saw this so not sure how active it is, since it was written over 6 months ago... I totally agree with some of the comments that I've seen about the "sugar free" or "sugar substitutes" creating their own little monster problems... and I am specifically referring to Splenda, Sweet-n-low, Equal, and the variant "generic" versions (aspartame, etc) that are also seen on food labels. I'm also referring to High Fructose Corn Syrup. I've been on this rant before and I've seen it happen to me over and over and now I know - I have to avoid all those types of ingredients LIKE THE PLAGUE!!

So far the best things that have worked for me is A) Stevia B) 85-90% Dark Chocolate avoiding as much of the artificial anything that could be in it. If it's plain sugar, I'm okay with it. C) a good quality locally grown honey, as much as possible I buy it raw (think Farmers Markets). I also use D) unprocessed unbleached sugar as much as possible, none of the bleached white sugar - this comes in various forms like turbinado, etc. one kind starts with a D and I can't think how it is spelled now.

Anyway I pretty much had to go cold turkey with the HFCS etc or the stuff we have around here that my husband refuses to part with, I just avoid it. I've gotten to where I see the bottles and I'll think "poison" rather than "goodie". heh. I've gone to weddings where a tiny bite of all the sugary frosting on cake was too much for me and had to spit it out - whereas before, I could plow through a third of a sheet cake if they'd let me have at it!! So its' a limited success, to be sure, but I'll take it since it seems to work for me.

I feel for you though, it is JUST NOT EASY and frustrating how much of the stuff is snuck into foods in restaurants or fast food places etc. I've even been shocked by labels in the grocery store of foods I'd never dream having any kind of sweetener or need for a sweetener, and they'll have some sort of artificial sweetener, sucralose or aspartame or whatever. NO wonder I felt awful "the day after" eating some of it.. Grrrrrr. Hang in there!!

I usually use Stevia powder rather than the liquids, but each has their place. I've used different brands - each has their own charm and/or their own "meh" factor, but I just had to keep using them until I got "used to them" the same way that Splenda or Sweet-n-Low were originally offputting to me before I got "used" to them before the results and afteraffects became more obvious. Report
I have read many of the comments, so I know I'm not the only one who's story is told in this blog. I also had an injury last summer for which I had to take a break, which turned into a longer unnecessary break, which turned into a cruise, followed by the holidays. During that time, all my eating goals went out the window. I am now making my way back. I kicked my kettlecorn habit and started working out again. While I don't celebrate anybody's setbacks, I have to say it's reassuring and encouraging to be a part of a real community where it's ok to share our challenges and encourage each other. Report
In a family journey to be sugar free -- initiated by ADHD and special needs diet issues of my 19 y.o. daughter ---- we've discovered that it's possible to readdict to sugar substitutes, not just sugar. That in turn fires up sugar cravings! It's an amazing and complex issue/struggle. Report
The same thing happened to me when I stopped my regular gym visits due to the holidays, visitors, moving and a vacation. The return to sugar craving crept up on me.
Strategy: I upgraded my itouch so I can get fitness applications. 21st century informatics has given me new motivation--there is new wind in my sails!! Sometimes, it takes a little shaking up!
I can completely empathize. I know I should go cold turkey and cut out the sweets, but I have at least cut back quite a bit since the holidays. I've avoided the afternoon soft drink with sugar and caffeine so far in 2011. It's a start! Report
The holidays were hard this year as they are every year. No matter what I do I always seem to fall off the wagon as far as sweets and the normal holiday fare is concerned and this year was no different. I guess what I need to do is just not go hog wild and just practice more portion control after all the trick is everything in moderation. I am happy I was able to get back on track and back to exercising.

The best part of falling off the wagon is climbing back on...with the help of the tremendous support system here at SP!!! Love this place! Report
Does anyone know of a sugar detox center?
THanks Report
Most mornings before I get out of bed I resolve to not eat any sweets. Today I got rid of all the Christmas candy and felt so good about myself. Would you believe before the day was over I ate a tbls of honey. Maybe tomorrow. Report
This blog was awesome and so are all the comments. With minor variations, I could have written that blog! :) Everyone's comments and suggestions are inspiring and helpful. I'm so glad to see it's not just me. I lost over 140 pounds over the course of 3 years and have now put 30 back on. So I am going to fight back! I won't get to that point again. I felt horrible. And while I'm feeling bad now, I still feel pretty good physically! I know eating right and exercising helps me feel good! So sometimes it's really mind boggling to understand why I keep repeating the old habits for that temporary feeling of comfort. I'm a work in process! :) And I won't give up this time! It doesn't sound like any of you will either! Good luck to everyone for a successful and joyful 2011! We can do it!! Report
I am having the same problem right now. I know what to do but I just can't seem to do it. Hopefully reading your article will help me get back in control of myself. Report
Thank you! I too am adicted to sugar. I'm worried that something will happen and I'll start down that sugar coated chocolate edged path back to the way things were. Now I know I'm not alone in this fight and I hope that this will help give me the strength to back away from the _____ (fill in with yummy treat of the day). I hope you know that since you did it once you can do it again. For me, it's know that you did it so I can do it too! Report
That sums up my sugar addiction, too. It starts small and you can justify it, and then something happens that makes you ramp up your intake. I am going to break the cycle now. I feel so much better when I get sugar out of my system! Report
Having lost 70+ pounds.. and then having a bike accident which leg to knee surgery - which led to leg brace and time off work and not being able to do things - and still - painful knee. I got on the scale to see I've gained 7.5lbs from my lowet weight. I can sooo relate to this blog ... soooo relate. And being diabetic... my sugars are off the chart again. So its hard to know where to start! Report
I surely believe that sugar is the devil! I've tried going cold turkey but got sick as a dog - felt like I had been hit by a truck for days. I decided that small steps were better for me - switched to using honey in my coffee and teas is one thing - staying away from HF Corn Syrup whenever possible and I was doing good until...dun dun DUN THE HOLIDAYS!!! Oh and Trader Joe's doesn't help with their evil chocolates either. I'm taking a step today and throwing out the chocolates. Thanks for helping me feel not so alone. Report
Me too! It is so good to know that I am not alone in this addiction....which I feel for me is exactly that! Thank you for your support! That's what I really like about Sparkpeople.
Deb Report
I started SP in Oct 2010. On Nov. 1, I vowed to cut out all processed sugar and did well until my birthday on the 19th. Then had a little bit on Thanksgiving and Christmas, and now the week in between the holidays is proving just as challenging. It is a never ending battle. If it was just a habit, you could break it in 21 days. This is an addiction!!! Report
THis is where I am sitting right now..... I am addicted to sugar. Every morning I wake up and say this is a new day. But the somebody brings something to the office and I say oh well just a 1/4 and by the end of the day I have ended up eatting the whole thing. This morning I threw good fudge and great toffee squares in the garbage..... I felt guilty for I know friends put a lot of work into making them....but I have a hard time controling myself..... I hope that I can get back on the regimen that I once was.... I am feeling down about myself and how I feel. Thanks for all of your words...I know I am not alone...and I know we can all work together and kick the sweet blues. Report
Clearly we sugar addicts are not alone. And this time of the year is certainly the toughest time. The sugar cravings generally die down about 3-6 days after quitting 'cold turkey', but doing it that way also makes me miserable. My tactic: to wean down slowly. ONE piece of chocolate, not 5; frozen grapes (purple ones are especially sweet); a graham cracker instead of a chocolate chip cookie (if you need something sweeter, put some fruit-only jelly on the graham cracker); or a baked apple sprinkled with splenda and cinnamon, with some raisins added to the cored center. It's also important to read packaged goods; some are loaded with salt and sugar, so you may be wondering why you still have cravings if you have cut out true sweets. Good luck to us all! Report
Stevia has saved my butt so many times. ;) I have a wicked sweet tooth and I've been working on baking my stuff with stevia instead of sugar. Saves calories and it seems to not trigger a sugar binge like traditionally sweetened things do.

I eat dessert daily but I make it with no added fats and no sugar. It's as far as I'm willing to go, currently. Report
Thank you for posting this. I am going through the same thing. Between having a surgery and the holidays...I just fell OFF the wagon! Glad to know I'm not alone and we'll all get through this! Merry Christmas! Report
thankyou for your comments i too am a sugar addict i haven't even tried to quit scares me to even think about however reading what you wrote has me thinking