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2/18/19 10:53 A

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Personally, my former nemesis was sweet things - brownies, cookies, candy, donuts, etc. I grew up in a household where they were pretty much banned from the house, and as a consequence, when I did have access to them, I really went to town.

In college, I struggled with dealing with the constant availability of things like that in the dining hall. I started to realize I had a bit of a messed-up relationship with that whole food category.

After college, living on my own far away from family, it was a revelation to realize I could buy and keep brownies in the house - AND NOT EAT THEM ALL AT ONCE - because it was my house, and my rules. I still struggled to not eat all the sweet things at once (as if they'd disappear or something), and I had hard time saying "no" at work.

When I had kids, I ended up with one allergic to peanuts. Fortunately, he grew out of that allergy by the age of 4, but along that journey, we came across Ellyn Satter and her concept of Division of Responsibility, and that food doesn't have moral value.

You aren't a morally upright person for eating a salad, and you aren't morally corrupt for having a brownie.

I knew I wanted my kids to have a different relationship with food than I did, so I've worked to be ok with keeping sweet things in the house, having them regularly but in moderation, and really paying attention to how our bodies feel after eating very sugary items.

It's been a wonderful experience - I have kids who can self-regulate around candy and sweets, will order a dessert in a restaurant, eat until they're comfortably full, and then leave those last few bites of pie and melted ice cream because they don't want it once they're satisfied. They'll have a couple of cookies at a family party, and then refuse any more because they got sick that one time from eating too many and don't want to repeat the experience. It's fantastic! And inspirational - I've healed a lot of my own relationship with sweet stuff by watching my kids listen to their bodies.

So my answer - I moderate. I am borderline Type 2 diabetic (thanks, Dad, for your genes!), so eating sweet stuff genuinely makes me feel ill unless I pair it with a high-fiber, high-protein/fat, low-carb dinner and a brisk 10-15 minute walk afterwards, and even then I have to be very careful about portion size.

To help keep sweets a regular, but sensible part of our weekly menu, we do Sundaes on Sunday, and one of the kids helps me make a special dessert to have with dinner on Tuesdays. Generally, I take the leftovers into work, but sometimes we'll keep one serving per person to have again on Thursdays. These have included things like zucchini chocolate cake, almond butter raspberry sandwiches, peanut butter apple "puzzles", a Boston cream pie, brownies, blondies, garbanzo cookie dough dip with fruit, etc. Sundays are easy for me to just not partake, as I'm not really an ice cream person, especially in the dead of winter.

We talk a lot about paying attention to how eating certain foods makes you feel, and how different people might be able to eat different foods and feel differently, so it's ok to say "I don't want that because my body doesn't like it very much" for foods that make our bodies feel sick or just off. This constant conversation came out of working with the allergist when my son was diagnosed with the peanut allergy - it put him at a high risk of developing other food allergies, so the allergist told us to never force him to eat anything. We could encourage him to try a new food, but if he spit it out (as a toddler) or told us it made his mouth feel funny, to let him continue to refuse that food in the future, as some people describe their mouth tingling or feeling itchy in the presence of a previously-unknown allergen food.

But the important thing is, you have to find what works for you.

Take life one day at a time - enjoy today before you worry about tomorrow.

 current weight: 223.6 
LYNN4HOPE's Photo LYNN4HOPE Posts: 234
2/17/19 10:04 A

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I do not deny myself anything because if I do I will over eat it when i finally cave in. I just plan my day in the morning including the snacks (good or not so good), and adjust accordingly if needed. I work out like crazy so a few indulgences don't seem to make me backslide. My nutritionist says whatever i am doing is great, so yay!!!

Lynn Chin up, one step at a time.

 Pounds lost: 66.0 
LULUBELLE65's Photo LULUBELLE65 SparkPoints: (37,388)
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2/12/19 8:44 A

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If I had ice cream in my house, I would eat the whole carton, so I don't have ice cream in my house, but once every few weeks, I buy an ice cream bar on my way home from working out, or will go out for gelato with friends. Other than ice cream, and any sort of fun-sized candy bar, I am able to eat everything in moderation. Chips and crackers go stale before I finish them, even though I really like chips and crackers. So I guess for me it's mostly moderation--there is nothing I have given up entirely, I just limit my access to it.

Sri Lanka

If you have formed the habit of checking on every new diet that comes along, you will find that, mercifully, they all blur together, leaving you with only one definite piece of information: french-fried potatoes are out. ~~Jean Kerr

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. ~~Anais Nin

Life is too short for self-hatred and celery sticks. ~~Marilyn Wann

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MLAN613 Posts: 22,509
2/9/19 7:34 A

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For me, I have to moderate. If I cut tings out, I feel like I am being punished. I also know there are certain things I can't keep in the house like potato chips and candy, especially Reese's Peanut Butter cups. I can eat and eat and eat those things.

Meghan in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

 September Minutes: 1,957
RUSTY_WOODS Posts: 836
2/9/19 7:12 A

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I cut out what makes me crave more food. That is carbs. I do have some, but when my blood sugar spikes, I can't stop from eating. If I had a scoop of ice cream, I would then eat half a box of cereal, or go get 6 burritos and a pop.

I would suggest figuring out what causes cravings/binges.. and consider getting rid of them. Hopefully, that is just sweets.

 current weight: 268.2 
MARTHA324's Photo MARTHA324 Posts: 9,014
2/8/19 4:49 P

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For the most part I moderate and that has worked well both when losing and now maintaining that weight loss. There are a few things that are hard (like chips) so I'lll have those when I'm out instead of having a bag at home.
And there are a few foods that I just won't eat either because of health or animal rights so those are just out for me. Used to love pepperoni pizza and I still have the pizza (light on the cheese) but the pepperoni is just too unhealthy for me.

Persistence is more important than perfection.

Don't assume your freedoms are assured.

If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention.

335 Maintenance Weeks
ARIELH5's Photo ARIELH5 Posts: 347
2/6/19 12:27 A

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I moderate but than again I went on a sugar detox and feel great. I no longer crave sweets.

 Pounds lost: 16.0 
SNUZYQ2's Photo SNUZYQ2 SparkPoints: (33,716)
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2/5/19 5:45 A

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Hmmmm. I'm a type 2 diabetic, obese and very sugar sensitive, so, if I'm hungering for something sweet, I like to choose low-calorie, low-glycemic-load types of food...such as fruit...really good fruit...think small, crisp, sweet apple, melon, mandarin oranges, tangerines, etc. I must keep this to one serving, with a meal or with protein (such as peanut or other nut-butters, reduced fat cheese or meat). Nothing is really off limits, but I must keep the daily calorie intake under 1500 calories.

The consequences of eating sweet, starchy, junky stuff are just too awful for me. High or very high blood sugar, if sustained for over an hour, causes incredible damage to my body. If repeated continuously, that damage becomes permanent and there's no going back. We're talking heart disease here, heart attacks and strokes, kidney disease, blindness, deafness, amputations because of compromised circulation and nerve damage, impaired digestion, unrelenting obesity, immobility and death and I've not listed everything. It's not worth it.

I did the moderation thing in my youth and thought I'd gotten away with it. Nope...should'a known better when I developed gestational diabetes. I should'a known better when my brother was diagnosed with diabetes and should'a known better when my aunt died from the disease. But I continued with my moderation until my doctor diagnosed me with type 2 DM. It was then I learned that I must cut out processed sweets and junkfood and choose better for my body.

So...I vote with cutting out the garbage and junkfood, keeping it out of the house and out of reach and, when encountered, viewing it as the non-food disgusting stuff that it really is. This takes all the cravings away. It makes you really not want it at all.

All things are possible.

 current weight: 201.8 
URBANREDNEK Posts: 9,472
2/4/19 6:15 P

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"Best" truly is individual when it comes to anything about food! For me, "best" is moderation - which included gradually lowering the use of sugars. I haven't dropped added sugars entirely, but rarely have more than 1-2 tsp throughout the day as part of my food choices (only more if I buy some ice-cream).

Personally, I don't do well with restriction or rules or perceived deprivation - even when they are my own idea! I also don't really have issues with emotional eating, or binge eating, or not being able to stop --- UNLESS I am just not paying attention.

So - I figured out what is "healthy enough for me": I get in at least the RDA of vitamins and minerals every day, I eat to hunger / satiety signals, I never deliberately eat less than what is needed to maintain my body at a healthy BMI, I get in at least 35-45g of fibre every day, I enjoy a minimum of 8-10 "servings" of vegetables and fruits every day, and I fit in breads and baking and even some blackstrap molasses / maple syrup / (gasp) sugar if I should feel like it.

I always have my favourite treat foods in the house, such as lots of dark chocolate, homemade ice-cream, a variety of rich cheeses, and lots of homemade baking such as sourdough breads and muffins and mini cheesecakes and cookies. My taste tends towards far less sweet than what is available commercially, so my homemade stuff is mostly sweetened with pureed berries and fruits --- which, in my opinion, makes the overall flavour far more complex and enjoyable.

By having these in the house, and knowing that I CAN have them whenever I want without any negative emotions about it, I don't feel any particular NEED to have them, and there are no cravings or binges with them. On the contrary, for me, having them around makes me feel more free to really listen to what my body wants and enjoy going with that. For instance, this afternoon we got in from a 45 minute walk out in -35 degree temps, and I was really hungry. I could have grabbed a muffin or some ice-cream or some chips --- but what I really WANTED (and thoroughly enjoyed) was a plate of leftover roasted rutabagas and brussels sprouts with baked ham.

I'll likely have 10g of dark chocolate later this evening with some tea, or might even have 100g of chocolate ice-cream --- but can happily enjoy the "right" amount, without any worries or angst or guilt since they fit quite well in to my "healthy enough" diet and they will always be there if and when I want them.

That's what is "best" for me - but you are the only one who can decide what is "best" for you!

Sir Terry Pratchett: "Science is not about building a body of known 'facts'. It is a method for asking awkward questions and subjecting them to a reality-check, thus avoiding the human tendency to believe whatever makes us feel good."

"The Inuit Paradox" (
): "...there are no essential foods—only essential nutrients. And humans can get those nutrients from diverse and eye-opening sources. "

SW: 258 Maintain @ 147-155

281 Maintenance Weeks
NIRERIN Posts: 14,625
2/4/19 6:00 P

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This is an entirely personal, what works for you solution. If I put a food off limits, I immediately want that, pretty much whether I like it or not. If I choose to the skip the food, it's easier to have it less frequently. I would also say to go on a case by case basis to figure out what works for each food, and ideally not all at the same time. So track your food and figure out your biggest culprits. Then go one by one and find workable alternatives. So if you have Little Debbies with your lunch, try making a batch of raspberry muffins and pack one of those with your lunch instead of the Little Debbie. If you like it, keep doing that. If it's not hitting the spot, perhaps try some yogurt with fruit and granola. Keep finding a reasonable replacement and it's okay to build up until you find three or four easy replacements. Then tackle the next item on your list. Most 9-10 oz bags of chips I can easily eat in a day or two, so I limit the number that I even bring into the house. The exception? Tortilla chips, which often go stale before I can get anywhere near finishing them. Poke around and find alternate solutions, then move on to the next item. Some you might need to cut out, some might work in moderation, but make sure you have options.

-google first. ask questions later.

2/4/19 3:58 P

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Personally, I do better with "in moderation" and reminding myself to look at 3 choices before I grab and snack.... Have I had my Fruit/Berries and whole grain crackers yet? I've been purposefully trying to get in some extra fruit/berries each day and have some decent crackers (like Triscuits)….then I'm not so drawn to the sweets to begin with. But they aren't off limits either....!

"The only thing we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us."
Gandalf: Lord of the Rings

 current weight: 138.9 
SHOAPIE's Photo SHOAPIE Posts: 29,484
2/4/19 12:51 P

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Measure out a portion and then put the package away, out of site!

 Pounds lost: 7.3 
VALMA2's Photo VALMA2 Posts: 85
2/4/19 9:04 A

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I used to think that some sugar was "ok" until I watched a video on YouTube called "Sugar is Not a Treat". It's an eye opener for anyone!

MICHELLEXXXX SparkPoints: (13,145)
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2/4/19 3:41 A

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I think it depends on each person's perception and beliefs about properly fueling the body.
I personally aim daily to abstain from almost all processed goods (which is what i consider junkfood) because I believe them to be toxic to the human body. I may fall short at times, still my goal remains the same due to my fundamental beliefs.

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever exercises faith in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16

 current weight: 108.0 
2/3/19 5:18 A

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Personally I try to keep all junky foods that I have trouble eating in moderation out of the house. I don’t buy them and I don’t bring them home.

If my hubby brings something into the house that I have trouble moderating I remind myself its not my food, it’s his and I make sure it’s away out of sight, out of mind.

You may find this book helpful.

‘In Slim by Design, leading behavioral economist, food psychologist, and bestselling author Brian Wansink introduces groundbreaking solutions for designing our most common spaces—schools, restaurants, grocery stores, and home kitchens, among others—in order to make positive changes in how we approach and manage our diets.

Anyone familiar with Wansink’s Mindless Eating knows this is not a typical diet book. Wansink shares his scientific approach to eating, providing insight and information, so we can all make better choices when it comes to food.

The pioneer of the Small Plate Movement, Brian Wansink presents compelling research conducted at the Food and Brand Lab at Cornell University by way of cartoons, drawings, charts, graphs, floor plans, and more. Slim by Design offers innovative ways to make healthy eating mindlessly easy.’

JERF - Just Eat Real Food

I'm not a doctor or dietitian. I'm just a real whole foods nutrition nerd.

I eat mostly vegetables, fats, meats, some fruit and dark chocolate. Unprocessed and preservative free food. And it's changed my life!

Maintaining since 2012
41 years old
2 kids

Lowering my A1C and keeping my blood sugar levels steady eating LCHF.

 September Minutes: 1,585
CONTRARYWIFE's Photo CONTRARYWIFE SparkPoints: (6,019)
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2/2/19 11:18 P

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I think maybe you need to address why you are bingeing. What is causing you to eat like that in general, and in specific when you try to be moderate. What are you thinking about when you binge? How do you feel? How do you feel about the food?

I suspect that if you cannot handle moderation, then trying to cut it out completely is going to fail, too.

Keep trying to moderate your treats to within your diet plans. Good habits don't happen overnight. It may be weeks or months until you reach a new 'normal' in lighter snacking. As Coach Jen says, you have to make changes you can live with in the long term. Don't give up.

 current weight: 154.4 
2/2/19 6:03 P

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My suggestion is to only make lifestyle changes you feel like you can live with forever. If there are certain "trigger" foods for you that you know you can never have in moderation, then you might be best to cut them out. But if there are other foods you enjoy but know you can control yourself with when you have them, then I think it's a good idea to have those in moderation.

Just my 2-cents.

Coach Jen

"You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing that we call "failure" is not the falling down but the staying down." Mary Pickford

"No matter how slow you go, you are still lapping everybody on the couch."
WHITE-2's Photo WHITE-2 Posts: 434
2/2/19 5:29 P

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And, WHY do you feel that way?

I ask because whenever I try to moderate, I end up bingeing ... so I wonder if maybe I had better give up on eating sweets and junkfood alltogether....

 Pounds lost: 23.0 
WHITE-2's Photo WHITE-2 Posts: 434
2/2/19 5:26 P

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What is best in your opinion? To cut out sweets and junkfood or to learn to eat it only in small amounts?

 Pounds lost: 23.0 
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