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Friday, October 29, 2010

SUGAR!!!

I have been reading about sugar on several of your blogs this week.  Tis the season, I guess.  I find this an interesting topic as it is something that has been a struggle for me too.  I have also developed some completely un-scientific theories about sugar that I thought you might find interesting. 

Before I was banded, I would sometimes eat dinner and decide to have dessert (sort of like I do now).  I would eat some luscious yummy thing and about 15 or 20 minutes later I would start having cravings for something else.  Often I would want popcorn or crackers and peanut butter.  At the time, I would wonder why the initial dessert didn't satisfy me?  It struck me as kind of bizarre that I would crave something, chose to indulge and then want more and more.  I'm not much of a grazer, but sometimes I would start in on eating candy (like many of you, we always have candy in my office) and I would eat and eat.  Even though I don't really like that kind of candy.

After going through the trouble and expense of having lap-band surgery, I decided to really take a hard look at my relationship with food and this was one of the issues that came up.  Like many of you, I wondered if the answer was to give up sweets altogether, but I didn't want to do that.  In the past that kind of deprivation has always led to a binge for me.  And I just don't want to live like that.  I've always believed that I should be able to eat all things in moderation and that includes sweets.  But why wasn't I satisfied by them?

So this is where the completely un-scientific (or maybe pseudo-scientific is a better word) theory comes in.  What I think happens when I eat sugar is that it causes my blood sugar to spike or the endorphins to kick in or whatever it is that makes us feel good when we eat sugar, but then 15 or 20 minutes later, things start to plummet and so the cravings begin.  Since I know this I can anticipate it now when I choose to eat sugar so when the cravings come, I just think, "Oh, there's the cravings, right on time.".  And I don't have to give into them.  They really only last a few minutes and then I get distracted by something else and move on.  It is so freeing to recognize this!

I usually have sweets twice a week on weekends.  I limit desserts during the week unless it is a special occasion.  I don't want to be in the habit of eating them more frequently than that.

Which brings me to the Halloween candy that some of you have been talking about this week.  If I want to have some, I will this weekend.  I will have a serving which is 2-4 mini-size bars, depending on the type.  But chances are, I won't have any because I have become really particular about candy and I just don't like those kinds very much.  I mean, they are okay.  But if I am going to have 250 extra calories in a day,  I want to have something really, really delicious.  Not just something okay. 

Which brings me to my next suggestion.  If you are coveting sweets right now, I think you should plan to have some.  But don't just have something okay.  Go to See's Candies or another candy store and buy an ounce of really, really delicious chocolate.  Look forward to your delicious treat!  When your kids come home with the little mini-bars, think about the special dessert you have.  When it is time to eat it, savor it!  Turn off the TV and eat it slowly.  Think about how it tastes as you have it.  Enjoy it!  Be satisfied by it and do not feel guilty.

If you want something else 15 or 20 minutes after you've eaten it, recognize that too and acknowledge that that is a physiological response that will pass.

Happy Halloween!   

15 comments:

Amanda said...

Interesting theory!

Strange thing about me is that I don't like sweets really. I rarely have them. But I think I might use your treat idea and have a blizard this weekend. That will be my candy treat! I don't do this often...infact maybe 3 times a year. But they have a mini pumpkin pie blizard that sounds lovely! :) Happy Halloween to you too!

Bonnie said...

Love your post. Definitely made me think. Ironically, I was never really a sweets person - until I got the band. Now I like them a lot more than I used to. Maybe because I'm not eating pasta and bread? Hopefully the cravings won't last, but I agree that saying I am going to eliminate them completely just sets me up for failure. The keys are moderation and thinking about it in the right frame of mind. Not "I have to have this", but "is it worth having?"

tessierose said...

Great advice. I've noticed since being banded, I'm pickier about everything I eat. If I can just have a little, I want quality!

Lap Band Gal said...

Awesome post... Answering your question about how I busted the plateau...I have no idea. I just really stuck to my plan and got super dedicated to correct food and exercise choices. We are only about 2 hrs away from eachother...maybe we should meet up sometime. I'm in Medford. :)

Ms. M said...

Great advice! I've also noticed that I will end up wanting more foods within a few minutes of eating a little piece of candy or other sweet thing. In fact, when it comes to candy, if I'm wanting a piece or two I will often choose to eat it while I'm making dinner. I get the sweet treat I want & by the time the urge for more food comes, my healthy dinner is ready to fill the need. Sometimes dessert first isn't such a bad thing. :)

Neglected Foster Child said...

I'm going to constantly battle with sweets over my life, I know it. My biggest craving this time of year is candy corn, something that I have no desire for outside of October 15-31st. Go figure. But most stores aren't carrying a whole lot of the stuff anymore because it isn't as popular as it used to be. So I have been buying the small bags at the 99 cent store and if I end up eating the whole bag (eventually), it still is only about 5 servings total.

I agree with the See's thing. I find that if I let myself have one of their suckers, it lasts so much longer and is so good (and lower in calories) than most of the other options out there that I don't want the other stuff.

TJ said...

I think that is exactly what happens to many of us. Some of us feel that spike and fall really bad. I used to crash so hard I would literally pass out (and I wasn't gorging on sugar either). Now I know that is why I would always be hungry. Eat a bag of popcorn and be hungry again in an hour. Eat some healthy carrots and still be hungry. Then of course I would eat some other form of "healthy" carb thinking that I was just really hungry. The cycle just went on and on. Even with my band some times I have these moments. I know that I am not really hungry, but if that crash is large enough I try to eat anyways. Thankfully as I have lost weight my body handles the carbs much better!!!

Dizzy Girl said...

Once again- you are right on target. I loved your post about being a vegetarian yesterday, and I love your post today. I've been thinking about you alot since I read that post- thank you for being a great example of speaking your mind and saying what works for you without putting others down if their option is different. LOVE YOU!

Amaris said...

Excellent post! I go through cycles of craving sugar and other foods, but the next time it comes up, I'll definitely remember that it's a "right on time" craving and not something I have to give in to. Great suggestion about eating quality candy, too, and really enjoying it!

~Lisa~ (Mrs C) said...

Great Post!! Thank you for sharing! I usually don't have much of a sweet tooth unless it involves some kind of penny junk like jujubes! I have a few - I'm happy, and move on.. Everything in moderation. I like your thinking!! Thank you!

Bianca J said...

Sugar is my nemesis. I know that if I stay away from it I do better all round. A few weeks ago I started having a bit of chocolate everyday and of course it's a slippery slope. Eating a little just made me want more and more. I've so far avoided the Halloween treats and I'm not sure if I'll even have any. Mind you they're sitting in trunk of my car until just before the trick or treaters come out. Good tip re the cravings.

Rachel said...

Hi Amanda, Thank you for your posts on my blog...you always give great and practical advice. I know that sugar is my downfall and I think you have a lot of relevant points. I think the beauty of the band is that since it restricts your intake you want to make your intake high nutritional and taste quality. Have a Happy Halloween.

Band-Babe said...

Fabulous advice. Everyone has foods that they love, and for women, that often tends to be chocolate. Avoiding it, or treating it like it's bad just doesn't make any sense. But, spending that desire and making those calories count for something exquisite... that is satisfaction for the mind, mouth, and soul. Something that amazing and beautiful can only be good.

Darlin1 said...

Great post Amanda!


I want to THANK YOU for responding to my post. You are correct in that they are just looking for a reason for the Shingles. I Love my BAND!!! I am only on a topical antiviral now. The severe pain was over the last 10 days--which all those useless antibiotics only made worse!

MandaPanda said...

Great suggestions about making it count. After I was banded, I gave up the office candy bowl because I'm just not really a candy person unless it's high quality chocolates. For some reason this week, it took over. I think I just need to keep a box at home and treat myself to uberyumminess when I want something sweet.