Sugar Bingeing – Appreciate Suggestions

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Sugar Bingeing – Appreciate Suggestions

This topic contains 16 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  Trying Harder 9 years, 2 months ago.

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  • Hi. I would really appreciate any suggestions or comments regarding eating way too much sugar on non-fast days. Cravings are strong & it is like I can’t stop, or get enough of it. The fast days are more controlled. On the non-fast days I find myself extremely out-of-control. I eat too much food, especially sugar (desserts & candy), & find myself bingeing til my stomach is uncomfortable & bloated. So frustrated!


    Hi Misty, sorry to hear you are experiencing such terrible cravings. I have found what helps me is to cut down on processed carbs. Have you noticed that the cravings are less severe on fast days? On fast days I don’t eat until the evening and then I eat a bit of meat and lots of vegetables which makes fast days carbless days. I tried starting my feed days instead of toast or cereal with a scrambled egg and a tomato and later some meat and vegetables and therefore prolong my low carb diet. This has helped me a great deal.

    I do love carbs and still eat them but when I find myself craving sugar too much then I know how to tackle this problem. Hope this helps. BTW it also helps with the weight loss.

    Hi Misti:

    It sounds like you have a strong case of carb addiction. The diet days limit your intake and as a result the next day you compensate by eating much more.

    Like many addictions, the cure is not fun – you really have to ‘go cold turkey’. The Atkins diet has an ‘induction’ phase that is designed to break carb addictions before people start the diet. It requires that you eat 20g or fewer of carbs daily for two weeks. Most people feel the worst about four days in, but feel really good by the end. It is not easy, but it works. Hopefully you will then be able to better control your carb intake.

    Good Luck!

    Hi Lichtle. Thank you for your suggestion regarding carbs! I do find cravings are less on fast days.(?) It is a great idea to go carbless on those days. I like your idea of prolonging a low carb diet, too.

    Didn’t realize that carbs can trigger sugar cravings. This is good to know especially since it is something I am challenged with. From your reply, I am encouraged to try this, & see if it makes a difference.

    Thanks for your help:)

    Hey simcoeluv. Thanks for your response. It is interesting that you are mentioning the carbs, too. I kept thinking that I had an addiction to sugar, but never considered a carb addiction. Great insight.

    It makes sense about going “cold turkey.” Have read about the Atkins diet, but wasn’t sure because of controversies regarding it being hard on the kidneys? (However, bingeing on sugar isn’t the easiest on the body/blood sugar, either!) Have you been on the Atkins “Induction phase” before?

    After reading your reply, I am definitely going to focus on a low-carb diet, & Atkins “Induction phase.” Thanks Simcoeluv!

    Hi Misti,

    I’d second what Lichtle says.

    I’ve been maintaining at under 60kg since early June. Even now though if I eat white bread, pasta, cakes, biscuits etc the hungry monster within me wakes. I can now exert more control, but it definitely helps me if I avoid processed carbs. I’m a big fan of natural full fat yoghurt. I add my own fruit. Lunches I do things like cottage cheese (in fact any cheese!), hummus, olives, tuna, and salad/ veg. Nuts are great too, caloric but filling, and don’t wake the carb monster.

    On fast days I skip breakfast but do eat at lunch. Fine, if I stick to the above with no processed carbs.

    Hi Misti:

    There is no kidney issue with Atkins. That rumor started as part of the campaign against it by the low fat people.

    I was involved with a 2 1/2 year clinical study that compared Atkins with the low fat DASH diet. The Atkins people stayed on the induction phase for 3 months with no problems, but a lot of weight loss.

    Hello HappyNow,

    It is great to hear from you & others about the low-carb eating. Just confirms it for me even more as I was getting frustrated. Now, I have renewed hope.

    Congratulations on maintaining under 60kg since early June! You must feel great!

    Hi Sincoeluv,

    That is great that you were involved with a clinical-comparison study. Also, encouraging to hear about there not being a kidney issue, & a lot of weight loss with Atkins.

    Am excited to get started. Grocery shopping tomorrow!

    Hi Misti

    I also have been maintaining around 60 kg for the last four months. I find that the sugar cravings are triggered by processed carbs and sugar foods. I try to go free from processed carbs on fast days and as many other days as possible. When I indulge, I know how to break the addiction the next day. Good fortune.

    Cheers, B 🙂

    Great post!

    I also have STRONG sugar cravings! I’m a sugar addict and I am trying to stop / eliminate added sugars from my diet.

    I am also hoping that fasting will reduce my sugar cravings! Many people have said the best way is to go cold turkey. My only apprehension of that method is that I will end up craving it more thus leading into binge feat of sugar! Wah :-/ x

    Hi Glitter and all other fellow Sugar Addicts

    Just read on another thread someone describing cravings as ‘the Sugar Monster’ – so true! Very interested to read others’ experience of processed carbs triggering a sugar binge – I have often had that too. I have also done a lot of thinking about the psychological aspects of sugar/ food addiction over the years, which I’d like to share, in hopes it might be useful for others.

    I’ve been doing 5:2 since about mid June, and been much more committed since beginning Sept, and my experience is that I rarely crave sugar these days – HOORAY! Like many other people report, I have drastically reduced the amount of processed carbs I am eating in general.

    I have only eaten chocolate on 1 occasion since early Sept; and no biscuits at all. Both were my major weaknesses. The chocolate mini- binge (2 individual bars compared with eating a family size bar etc etc on many occasions in the past) was definitely due to addictive thinking rather than physical sugar cravings. I had just had an ‘official’ interview, which I had been dreading but which, though difficult. had gone ok after all. I think the addicted part of my mind told me: ‘Poor you, now you deserve a treat’ and I chose to listen to that thought.

    I reckon it is a good idea to reduce processed carbs, but if anyone were also interested in taking a psychological tack, a book I have found helpful is by a writer called Gillian Riley. Her approach helped me stop a 40 a day smoking habit(in 1999 – so it has stuck!) I then read her book on food addiction. It was originally called ‘Eating less…’ but i believe it has been reissued under a different title. Honestly, I have no involvement with her – this is not an ad! In fact, I couldn’t quite do it with just her approach (eat less and lose weight I mean) but have found it a very helpful adjunct to 5:2.

    I also went to Overeaters Anonymous for about a year (2010 – 11) but decided it wasn’t quite the approach for me. However, I did gain a lot of support from it and it did help my over-eating while I was involved, so again I offer that as an idea if anyone feels they are really struggling with addictive feelings. I think it would coexist quite happily with 5;2.

    Thanks for this thread and all the best to everyone reading
    Bootsy Badger

    Hey bootsybadger!!

    Thanks for that! Tell me how does. Typical fast day go for you? Do u go all day with 0 until dinner? What do you choose to have on your fast days?

    I stopped 5:2 when I was training for a half marathon last year but Really want to try and get back into it again , do u have any helpful tips or advice????. Primarily for health benefits AND to reduce these awful horrendous sugar binges / addiction. I need to stop turning to food when I am anxious and sad and lonely for comfort but it’s hard!

    Congrats to you on beating the sugar cravings!


    Hi, Misti-

    I like sugar too, but I don’t binge. I believe there is something else going on. One is how your body reacts to the sugar you are eating. It’s like at Halloween- I can eat 5 small candies in a row, but normally I wouldn’t eat that much chocolate in a sitting.
    First of all, try to find lower-sugar alternatives, like 70% dark chocolate instead of milk, or Graham crackers instead of Oreos.Try eating a KIND bar- the one with chocolate is yummy, as is the cranberry almond. They are very sweet, but have a low GI, and have protein as well.
    Then there’s that list of “what you really need”. In part it says:

    If you crave this… What you really need is… And here are healthy foods that have it:


    Magnesium Raw nuts and seeds, legumes, fruits


    Chromium Broccoli, grapes, cheese, dried beans, calves liver, chicken
    Carbon Fresh fruits
    Phosphorus Chicken, beef, liver, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, nuts, legumes, grains
    Sulfur Cranberries, horseradish, cruciferous vegetables, kale, cabbage
    Tryptophan Cheese, liver, lamb, raisins, sweet potato, spinach

    Now I would NEVER say liver and broccoli are substitutes for sugar, but make sure your body is well-fed before you automatically head for the sugar. Also try eating whatever it is super-slow, or eat half and leave the other half for later. My husband jokes about how he used to find half-eaten candy bars in my pockets (okay, maybe ONE time!).

    In reply to your questions about my fast days, Glitter, I think what is so great about 5:2 is there are so many ways to implement it in one’s life. For myself, on fast days I allow enough milk for 3 -4 cups of tea (yes, that could be called another addiction but it’s one I’m quite comfortable with ;-)) Then I usually divide the rest of my calorie allowance between lunch and supper. I don’t like to go all day as I have medication which, strictly, I should take after breakfast but I usually stretch that until brunch/lunch. But I know some people are very happy to wait until evening and then consume all their calories then. So maybe the exciting thing for you is to learn what suits you best – have you noticed how often these threads talk about ‘quests’ and ‘journeys’? Maybe you could view it like that: a continuing experiment.

    Re ’emotional eating’. I think the long term aim has to be to learn to experience uncomfortable (or sometimes positive) emotions, without using food to absorb or act as a proxy for them. Just had a look online and the books by Gillian Riley are called ‘Ditching Diets’ and ‘Eating less’. She has some useful insights into these processes; and suggestions on how to change them.

    You have probably been browsing the threads – have you seen the one entitled ‘Starting Again’, in ‘Weight Loss’, maybe that one would be helpful for you too. Good luck on this next phase of your journey.

    Thank you bootsybadger !! Are u on Facebook at all? There is a dedicated 5:2 group on there too! Xxx

    I think sometimes when you think you are craving sugar it’s because you are thirsty!

    If I give myself a sip or two of a herb tea ( no sugar) but something flavorful, that desire usually passes. Or an apple. There you do get some sugar but you also get the fiber to process therefore lessening the damage.

    It’s processed white sugar that is “the monster”. Og and don’t let brown sugar fool you. It is just white sugar sprayed with molasses ! So deep in the heart of brown sugar, we find yet again that old monster!

    But the eating carbs ( pasta, bread et all) and then craving more sugar does make sense to me!

    I’ve tried to take all “white” food stuff out of my diet. If I do have bread it’s a real multigrain bread. Pasta the same. Actually I’ve come to appreciate the nutty flavor of whole wheat pasta! And tried to develop new recipes that work with it!

    That said. I don’t eat it but one time a week. It’s pretty much of a special thing now. Also have taken cured ham, sausage, bacon out of my diet.

    – Trying Harder !

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