Sugar and Sugar Substitutes

When I develop the urge to locate a suitable alternative to a trigger food, I generally don’t stop until I find it.  Remember my three month quest to find the perfect substitute to peanut butter?  That lesson just goes to show that sometimes you can find satisfying surprises in the unlikeliest of foods.  Who would have thought that a recipe using chickpeas would pass for the ever-present peanut butter urge?  Many thanks to The Wannabe Chef for thinking up the original concoction.

 

For a while now I’ve been feeling the urge to change my current substitute for sugar, which is Splenda.  And I can already tell that I’m going to have my work cut out for me.

For the past few years I’ve attributed a good part of my ability to lose and maintain my weight due to the fact that I paid close attention to how many calories I was consuming.   If I were using a recipe that called for brown sugar I had no problem substituting brown sugar with Splenda in order to lower the calorie count.  I thought I was doing myself a favor and acting responsibly by eliminating as much sugar as possible from my diet, since it was the main reason why I’d gained so much weight.  Whether I’m eating it or not, my head is always wishing it was surrounded in a sugary blissful haze. 

I’ve received many emails and comments since the launch of this blog regarding my choice of sweeteners.  I always read the links that are sent and share some of your concerns on the effects of artificial sweeteners and any Google search will gladly provide articles as to how they can do more harm than good.   No matter what I read though, I always end up with the same question:  what is a woman to do when she has only two choices – either use real sugar and possibly become overweight (which is unhealthy) or use artificial sweeteners (which can be unhealthy, apparently) and keep her weight stable?  If the outcome of bad health is the same, isn’t this a lose-lose situation?

I recently stumbled across an article about why artificial sweeteners are a bad choice.  It only intensified my frustration.  At the end of the article, the author shows what we can use as alternatives to artificial sweeteners.  You can read the article in it’s entirety here.  

Turn to natural sweeteners for your drinks and food alike. Honey, organic maple syrup, molasses, date sugar, brown rice syrup, and stevia are just a few natural sweeteners you can turn to. Not only will they wreak less havoc on your body, but your support of these sweeteners instead will, eventually, help to slow the production of toxic artificial sweeteners–which are significantly less delicious in my opinion anyway.

Aren’t the majority of people who use sweeteners trying to watch their weight?  I assume this to be true.  So, if I were to follow the advice of this article, then I should use pure organic maple syrup on my whole grain waffles instead of, say, sugar-free Aunt Jemima maple syrup.  Except that the organic maple syrup is well over 200 calories for 1/4 cup compared to the sugar-free syrup which has 25 calories per 1/4 cup.  Don’t get me wrong; if I were basing my choice solely as a mindful eater, I’d obviously choose the pure maple syrup (hello!  ONE ingredient).  But as a dieter?  I’d never choose to add all of those unnecessary calories to my meal if I had a lower calorie alternative.  Also, is there anyone that adds that little syrup to their waffles or pancakes?  I see people in restaurants adding three times that much without thinking twice about it.  

To those of you who have sent me articles on artificial sweeteners, don’t give up hope.  The fact that I’m frustrated is a good thing.   I actually want to incorporate less artificial ingredients into my diet.  I’ve been attempting to make this transition for months now by trying to find an alternative to the Torani sugar-free syrups I use in my morning must-have tea lattes (all contain Splenda).  Not an easy task, let me tell you.  The problem is, I want it all.  I want to have natural sweetness without the calories, but I’m not so sure it exists.  I have tried Ideal sweetener, but to me it has too strong an aftertaste.  I bought organic agave sweetener but the calories quickly add up as I drink tea throughout the day.  My recent find was sugar/stevia packets made by Domino.  Again, I noticed that aftertaste.   Ugh.

What is your sweetener of choice?  Are you able to incorporate natural sugars into your life while watching your weight?  Does the perfect sweetener exist, or am I doomed to live an all or nothing existence (wow, how dramatic did that sound? Poor Me!!)

Pour forth your advice!  I’m listening………

56 thoughts on “Sugar and Sugar Substitutes

  1. NewMe

    Personally, I can’t stand the taste of artificial sweeteners. Maybe I’m the only one in the world, but I can put just a few drops of maple syrup on my oatmeal and be perfectly happy. A 1/4 cup of maple syrup may have 200 calories, but why anyone would use that much is beyond me. I love the taste but that much would make me gag.

    It may sound naive, but have you ever considered just gradually cutting down the amount of sugar you “need” so that you can get to the point where you can live with a small amount of the real stuff rather than scads of the franken

    Reply
    1. Ellen Post author

      That is a great point, and I have been doing that while searching for something more natural. I know that eventually my desire for sugar will decrease (and has in a lot of foods that I eat – yogurt for example, and I NEVER thought that would happen) but for some reason I cannot break away from sweetened tea. It’s jut one of those things my taste buds refuse to compromise on.

      Reply
      1. Karen@WaistingTime

        When I tried my experiment to cut out sweeteners, the tea drove me crazy. Not so much my first morning green tea, but the afternoon teas that are flavored like coconut cocoa. Ugh. I’m sure my tastebuds would eventually adapt. Maybe.

        Reply
  2. NewMe

    I HATE typing on an I-pad…

    Anyway, my point is to reduce, not eliminate, and to enjoy the real stuff, just in much smaller quantities.

    I guess you’ve said that you can’t do this, but maybe you could try a little experiment with just one food that you add sweetener to.

    I really do sympathize with you. So often we feel like life is all or nothing. I know that I do…and it’s not healthy, either physically or mentally.

    Reply
  3. Hanlie

    I read this post and at the end of it felt like saying, “I don’t understand the question.” It’s been so long since I had my paradigm shift in this regard.

    I rarely sweeten anything. Does that mean that I don’t like sweet things? No, of course not. We are born with a taste for sweetness. That is why there are foods that are naturally sweet – fruit.

    If you don’t like food and drinks that aren’t sweet, don’t eat or drink them. Coffee and tea are prime examples. I like the taste of coffee and herbal teas and I would never dream of ruining it with sugar or sweetener.

    Also, don’t be fooled by the false premise that sugar (the product) is better than artificial sweeteners. From a health point of view they are both highly processed (even brown sugar), unnatural foods with grave consequences for our health. Do you know that sugar suppresses the immune system for up to 36 hours after consumption?

    On the odd occasion that I have to sweeten something, I use a little raw honey, ground dates, freshly extracted fruit juice, raisins or mashed banana (depending on what it is, of course). But if you eat enough fruit, you will stop craving processed sugars that entice us without satisfying us. And there has never been an instance in the history of the world where someone has become fat or obese from eating 5+ servings of fruit per day.

    I realize that not everyone will want to make such a radical change, but it’s actually simplified my life enormously.

    Reply
    1. Ellen Post author

      Very interesting comment, Hanlie. When it comes to tea and coffee I am the EXACT opposite. I have tried to drink them unsweetened – for years, on and off – and simply cannot do it. I love your idea of sweetening with fruit (especially ground dates! Never thought of doing that before). Very helpful. Thank you.

      Reply
  4. debby

    I’m with you Ellen. I try periodically to eliminate splenda from my life. I don’t think its going anywhere LOL.

    What I have done is to keep trying to enjoy foods that are just lightly sweetened. Lori’s one-minute muffin is an example. It has 1 tsp of sugar in it, and I find it very enjoyable as a ‘dessert.’ Kinda the same way I keep trying to enjoy food with less salt. Its kind of like a game. I will cook a food with salt, but then not have the salt shaker anywhere near where I am eating. So even if I would like to add some salt to my food, I’m too lazy to get up and get the saltshaker! It seems to be working LOL. Oh, but we were talking about sugar weren’t we?

    Reply
    1. Ellen Post author

      LOL! I think your compromise with the salt shaker is too funny – and it’s great that its working for you!!
      This one minute muffin keeps popping up everywhere and I’ve yet to try it. I’ve got to get with the program and make that!

      Reply
  5. Cammy@TippyToeDiet

    {raises hand} I am the weirdo who likes just a drizzle of syrup on her pancakes. To keep from being banned from your blog, I’ll point out that I could eat a dozen cookies in a single sitting and not even blink. :)

    I like a product called Sun Crystals, which I’m having trouble finding now. It’s a blend of sugar and stevia, and I don’t notice an aftertaste. Maybe because I use it sparingly? Other than that, I just use sugar in small amounts. I don’t think it’s the handtool of Satan that some think, not if it’s kept in its proper place.

    Reply
  6. Karen@WaistingTime

    I am eager to hear what you learn on this quest. I use that horrible fake syrup on my equally fake “pancake.” (I’m going to post the recipe someday.) I hate all the ingredients but am sooooo not going with the real thing which is what the “old me” used. I emailed you earlier about what I’m using in my tea now. Also, I saw a Dr. Oz episode about coconut palm sugar as a sub for brown sugar and got some of that a while back. Funny thing is he did a whole show once on how very bad sugar is, then on other shows he talks about using it instead of the fake stuff. Sigh.

    Reply
    1. Michele @ Within Reach

      I think Dr. Oz’s point is that sugar IS bad. But if you’re going to consume it (and most people will), then he’s going to point out the ones we should choose. I looked for the coconut palm sugar too but couldn’t find any. Whole Foods probably has it for $35.

      Reply
  7. Roxie

    I am not much help on this one. I recognized just last night, much to my 1. amazement, and 2. chagrin, that I have gone through a Costco-sized box of Splenda packets since moving into my house (I think that’s when I bought it).

    I use it in my coffee in the morning and don’t add it to much of anything else – however, I drink diet sodas like there’s no tomorrow – and I just don’t see that changing anytime soon.

    I am, however, enjoying my evening Sleepytime Vanilla tea without any sweetener (at least I’m not adding it). So there is some progress.

    Reply
    1. Ellen Post author

      Well Roxie, we’re two peas in a pod. I limit my intake but it is in everything these days.
      I’m glad you are enjoying the Sleepytime Vanilla. That one doesn’t require sweetener for me, either. It’s like the only tea that I can drink straight.

      Reply
  8. Jenn @ Cooking Aweigh the Pounds

    Man, this takes me back to the days when I used to drink 6 packets of sugar in my coffees and iced teas. Ick! I now get my caffeine fix from black tea, but still use 1 Splenda for my iced teas at restaurants. I try to use alternative natural sugars at home when I can. (Over ripe bananas, applesauce, pureed dates, or unsweetened coconut.) The less sugar I use, the less I want and most of the time I complain that things are too sweet. Unfortunately I have never ever not wanted cookies and ice cream or complained that they’re too sweet. Bummer!

    Reply
    1. Ellen Post author

      I hear you loud and clear, Jenn. Same way for me. I think we all just have to do what we can and find our own way. You’re the second person to mention dates to sweeten. Why have I not thought of this??

      Reply
  9. Beth

    Oh Ellen, I love how when you get frustrated about something, you do NOT give up until you find the answer/alternative you seek! Maybe, you should get frustrated about some other things…like “Why can’t I make more money and buy myself anything I want and travel anywhere I want to go?” I bet you will become a millionaire with your solution seeking attitude! LOL

    Reply
  10. Caron

    I love sweets but rarely eat them. They send me down a path of overeating which is quite ugly. This week, I’ve been putting a half teaspoon of regular white sugar in both my oatmeal and plain yogurt. That amount of real sugar does not send me into cravings.

    Thankfully, I prefer black coffee which I’ve been drinking since the 1970′s. Some teas, like Earl Grey, I drink with nothing in them but I do put a sugar cube in green tea.

    My sweets are usually fruit or, occasionally, I’ll splurge on a serving of some really good frozen yogurt. I don’t bring it into the house but enjoy it out.

    After saying all of that, I’d still be interested to find out if there is an artificial sweetener out there that won’t harm us and tastes good. Not too long ago, I threw out a whole recipe of baked oatmeal made with Splenda because of the aftertaste.

    Reply
    1. Ellen Post author

      there has got to be something out there that doesn’t have an aftertaste. If there is, I’ll find it and let you know, Caron.

      Reply
  11. munchberry

    I have no advice. I drink and eat some things with artificial sweeteners. I also eat things with other chemicals. But mostly eat plain old uncomplicated food. I treat sweeteners a little like salt. Decreased over time so I need less and I try different sweeteners to see if I like them. If I do and they are affordable I switch. I like stevia, but it was too expensive when I tried it to stick with it. Now when I bake I use fruit for sweet and cut the sugar or sub in artificial stuff usually in half.

    I am glad nobody sends me info on sweeteners. I am iffy on food police.

    Reply
    1. Ellen Post author

      I think whatever system works for you is what you should do. After all, you know what is working for your body. I don’t know what’s good for me these days. Maintaining is a whole different animal because the outcome is to stay the same. The thing is, the body is constantly changing, even when we don’t want it to. Age happens and I need to adjust. But how does one adjust when what’s BEEN working isn’t really working anymore? That’s why I keep trying new things, hoping to get me back on the right track. Not always easy.

      Reply
      1. munchberry

        The artificial sweetener is not working for you because it is not working (having the desired effect) or because you are worried about reports?

        I have read agave and stevia are also bad for you. Sorta makes me laugh. Sugar. At least it is classified as food and can stand up to the FDA scrutiny.

        Is it ever easy? Please say yes.

        Reply
        1. Ellen Post author

          Both, actually. I buy the sugar free Torani syrup in the big bottles and use a pump and a half’s worth in my tea. I just noticed the other day how quickly I’m going through that stuff.
          EVERYTHING is bad for you, M. I end up throwing my hands into the air after a while.

          Reply
  12. Michele @ Within Reach

    Oh my! Okay, this is a serious issue. And FYI — brown rice syrup is higher in arsenic than anything else. It is a serious issue. I avoid products with it in it.

    The ideal solution is probably not to sweeten… that fruit should be our only sweet things. Dates really are sweet — that’s why Larabars are so good.

    I also like the Sun Crystals that Cammy mentioned. They’re five calories per packet. For natural sweeteners without calories, stevia is probably best, though I think it has a funny taste. But if you can get used to sucralose, aspartame, or saccharin, then you can get used to natural stevia too. Ellen, this is an important quest for you. I truly believe artificial sweeteners should be totally off-limits.

    Reply
    1. Ellen Post author

      I’ve never heard of brown rice syrup containing arsenic. That is a shocker.
      It’s so good to hear from you, Michele. I am on my way to a healthier me. It may take a while to get there but I’m working on it.

      Reply
  13. Jen

    I appreciate reading this–I struggle with this too, and can’t seem to break my Splenda habit. I used to buy the big boxes at Costco and now I only buy smaller quantities at the grocery store since I keep telling myself I’ll find an alternate solution and swear off of it, and yet somehow I haven’t made it to the other side.

    My compromise is to try and limit it to using it in two cups of coffee per day and save iced tea & other diet drinks or baking for more of a “treat”, but there are periods where I have many “treat” days in a row.

    Aside from the calories with regular sugar, I really feel the sugar’s affect in a way similar to the way I feel w/too many carbs, so I never know what’s worse. I tried for a while to use real sugar but just less of it but that didn’t last long.

    It’s a bit of a digression, but one of the other things I find with Splenda use is that it affects my skin! I feel I break out or get irritated skin if I am taking it in too much. Sadly, this is a bigger inhibitor to my overuse of Splenda than health concerns–although I also have done the rotations with other artificial sweeteners, including erythritol and various blends from the “health food” store. Yet I always suspect there are flip sides to everything, similar to what Michele mentioned with the brown rice syrup. If it’s not one thing it’s another! Thanks for the post, though, I’ll look forward to seeing how/if this resolves–or evolves!

    Reply
    1. Ellen Post author

      Jen, I really appreciate you sharing your thoughts on this topic. As you can see, everyone is different and handles their weight differently with many tools. Finding the appropriate tools is sometimes hard, though. I keep thinking, ‘this simply cannot be THAT hard!’ but it is, especially when you can’t find that something you’re looking for. You’re right, there are flip sides to everything. We just have to do what we feel comfortable with and what works for our lifestyle.

      Reply
  14. KCLAnderson (Karen)

    I am with the first commenter, NewMe. In fact, I “copied and pasted” this – “Also, is there anyone that adds that little syrup to their waffles or pancakes?” – so I could say, “Me! I only use a little bit of my sweeteners of choice: honey, agave, maple syrup, brown sugar…

    I think that artificial sweeteners are not only addictive, but are also so intense that they alter your tastes so much that once you’re hooked, it’s hard to appreciate just a little bit of added sweetness, or even no sweetness besides the natural sweetness of certain foods. I aim to add flavor (whether sweet or savory) myself versus buying foods that are already flavored, and to experiment with eating foods with no flavor added.

    Also, you said this: “either use real sugar and possibly become overweight (which is unhealthy) or use artificial sweeteners (which can be unhealthy, apparently) and keep her weight stable?”

    I daresay that this isn’t an either/or situation and that being overweight does not always equate to being unhealthy, and it doesn’t always lead to becoming unhealthy. There are some people who eat too much (real) sugar, who are not overweight, and who are unhealthy…and there are people who are somewhat overweight, who don’t eat much sugar at all, and are healthy (raising my hand :-).

    Reply
    1. NewMe

      KCL, back atcha! We need to remind ourselves over and over that weight is not a proxy for health.

      Dr. Steven Blair, the “30 minutes a day of moderate exercise” man has clearly shown that overweight, active people (no, I’m not talking about those poor 600-pound souls who can barely get of their chairs) are just as healthy (YES, just as healthy) as “normal” weight people and HEALTHIER than normal, or low-weight people who are not active.

      There’s very little on the internet about Dr. Blair, although he is a highly respected researcher in the area of physical activity. I was lucky enough to hear him speak in person a few months ago. He is saying revolutionary things, but most people really don’t want to hear them.

      Reply
      1. Ellen Post author

        Yes! To you both, I feel the need to retract my message that heavier means unhealthy. That was a poor choice of words and in my mind I was referring to the heavier 235 pound self that I was – with sugar being the main reason why I ended up at that weight. I should have clarified more. Thank you for doing that for me :)

        Reply
  15. teresa

    How much sweetener do you really need every day? How much tea do you drink, I guess…
    I see that this is a big deal for you.
    I just can’t find a place where it’s better to have those artificial sweeteners. I don’t think it’s a choice between ingesting chemicals or becoming overweight. I think that maybe the better choice is to figure out your calorie budget and have less sugar if necessary, but the real thing. That’s what we did with our meat budget. Same budget but only buying really clean, organic meats (so less.)
    The artificial sweeteners are bad for your brain chemistry. I don’t have the articles or reports in hand… but that’s a really scary one.
    For someone who is conscious and cares about health, they aren’t a good option.
    Stevia. If you must.
    I have to find my own way with this. Especially now. We just found out that my husband has to really go off sugar. So… we’ll see.
    I say, think health. Think real food. Ask your body what it wants! Try a fruit thing on your waffles maybe. Also maple syrup goes a long way. you wouldn’t pour it on like you would aunt jemima.
    Oh boy…. I guess you feel my opinionatedness on this.
    And I am still not at a place where I can control my own portions, so I don’t know I’ll do this… but for me that will be the only answer. Reasonable portions. Savor…
    Never chemicals.
    love, love, love…xoxoxoxoo

    Reply
    1. Ellen Post author

      I’m glad for your convictions, tree. It brings a new perspective to a very important topic within our community. I need to think about your question ‘how much sweetener do I really need every day’. I need to be more mindful of what I’m consuming, I suppose. I drink tea throughout the day but it’s been a long time since I’ve counted calories on beverages. Mainly I stick with water and tea. I guess on average, I feel that I’d like to devote no more than 100 calories a day on added ingredients to my tea (this includes sweetener and milk). Savor until I reach that limit and then no more for the rest of the day maybe, unless its just tea straight.

      Reply
  16. Val

    Like Wendy, I too barely use a drizzle of syrup on my waffles or pancakes (not that I eat ‘em much anymore)… & I trained myself to LIKE unsweet tea, so much so that now our Texas sweet tea tastes HORRIBLE, like pure syrup to me!
    I think gradual reduction is the key…

    Reply
    1. Ellen Post author

      On waffles I can use syrup sparingly, but on pancakes, they just suck that syrup in like a sponge. I try to stay away from pancakes.
      I’ve tried that sweet tea you are referring to and that DOES taste like syrup. I don’t know how anyone can drink it that sweet. Again, a reminder that we get used to things, don’t we?

      Reply
    1. Ellen Post author

      That is something I’ve been able to do just within the past couple of months. I admire people like you who innately have the ability to moderate their food. Unfortunately it doesn’t come easily to me. Certain foods trigger responses that make me crave more of that food. PB was one of those things but I’m learning, albeit slowly, that I can eat in moderation. But that peanut butter hummus is still pretty darned good! lol

      Reply
  17. Jane

    I went artificial sweetener free last summer and kept it up until November when I nosedived into the Splenda bowl. I have reduced the amount I use – and I do use some stevia, but I have not gotten rid of it completely and I am not sure I want to at this point. I am taking baby steps with it.

    I did the pure maple syrup, the agave and every syrup in between. Today I use poached fruit on my no-wheat hazelnut pancakes and waffles or just sliced bananas and berries.

    I miss the butter more than the sugar.

    Reply
    1. Ellen Post author

      Baby steps is the only way to make certain changes, Jane. Especially when it comes to food. Going cold turkey can sometimes make things worse.
      I chuckled at you last comment about the butter. Oh, do I understand THAT one!!

      Reply
  18. Megan

    Hello! I’ve been reading your blog for awhile, but this is my first comment :-)

    I can totally relate to you with the sweeteners! I love Splenda but am trying to cut it out. I am using Natvia which is a stevia sweetener. It’s ok, but not as good as Splenda!

    So I’m of no help, but wanted to let you know you’re not alone :-)

    Reply
    1. Ellen Post author

      Thank you for chiming in with your comment, Megan. Greatly appreciated :)
      I’ve not heard of Natvia before. I’m adding it to my list of things to try. I just tried adding the sugar/stevia combo from Domino and had to throw out my tea altogether. The aftertaste on that product is awful. Good idea, but disappointing.

      Reply
  19. Fiona

    I am addicted to equal and sugarless. And yet artificial sweeteners scare the hell outta me!
    i truly believe they have ruined my ability to taste real sweetness – making me dependent on them to alleviate my growing sweet-cravings.
    I believe they chemically MAKE us crave SUGAR. Our bodies are tricked into thinking they are getting sugar and release hormones to deal with it. They get fake sugar instead and so we end up with a huge deficit – leading to sugar slumps and sugar cravings.
    AND research is now showing they CAUSE weight gain. What’s to love? not much.
    Now if only I could quit my addiction…

    Reply
    1. Ellen Post author

      It’s hard to know what to do in situations like these, Fiona. I think we just have to keep searching for something we feel comfortable using. What I might use, you might think tastes terrible and visa-versa. If you find anything you really like, be sure to let us know!

      Reply
      1. Fiona

        I do know that they make me not feel good at all health wise. I would actually use sugar despite it being one of my most feared foods – if I could taste it. I just can NOT now, and i blame that on the sweeteners. I will be adding spoon after spoon to my tea and – nothing. So i try not using anything to sweeten and just can’t stick out the cravings for sweet.
        I never craved sweet this much before I ever started using the sweeteners. It’s something I think of daily, this issue, because I can see the huge effect it’s having on me.

        Reply
  20. julie

    I tried the fake sugar, made me snacky, almost bingey. I’m back to regular sugar, and losing weight anyway. As Fiona says, above. A cup of coffee with Splenda will send me hunting for cookies at work. A cup of coffee with sugar, no such problem. It did not even out in the end, I eat so much more when I’m feeling snacky.

    Reply
    1. Ellen Post author

      I think that being intuitive to how your body reacts is key, Julie. Good for you that you ARE that intuitive. I need to be more like that, I think. Splenda is definitely not for you.
      Thanks so much for your comment!

      Reply
  21. Laura @ LauraLivesLife

    This was such a tough one for me too – I had to make a commitment to health and good food, instead of one to calories. I realized that I was more satisfied by ‘real’ foods and that the ‘fake’ sweeteners really messed with my digestive system (if you know what I mean…?) so I eat the all-natural sweeteners. That being said, we all have to figure out what works for us, despite what everyone else says!

    Reply
    1. Ellen Post author

      Very good point, Laura. We all have to figure out what works for us despite what everyone else says. After all, no one else can take control of our health but US. If that means baby steps here and there, the point is that we are all trying to achieve better health and that’s what it’s all about.

      Reply
  22. Julie

    I was a big Splenda fan for a long time and decided that I needed to give up the chemicals for something more real. The best sweetener that I have found that I like is called Sugaresque which is a sugar alcohol and has 0 calories and 3 grams of carbs per packet.
    That said, if I am making a recipe that my kids will eat I will use agave, honey, maple syrup or dried fruit most of the time.

    Reply
    1. Ellen Post author

      Hi, Julie! Thank you for giving me an additional substitute to try. My latest find: sugar/stevia that Domino makes went into my trash today – I never do that! But it was unusable. I appreciate your comment – thanks for reading :)

      Reply
  23. Lynn~Learning Curves

    I have been coming to realization that, for me, the best approach to “diet” is to eat REAL foods. I’ve spent half my life eating or drinking substitutes and trying to find the lowest calorie combinations of ‘foods’ with the highest amount of ‘bulk’. Man, when I was anorexic I could thin out pancake batter like nobody’s business while I sucked down a 12 pack of Diet Coke a day to make my stomach feel full. What I’ve found is, the more I tryed to trick myself with empty, make-believe foods, the more food I wanted. I was trying to trick my body and mind into thinking it was full on whatever calorie restricted diet I might happen to be on. But what was really happening was 1- I was conditioning my body to consume MORE (I could eat more jello, drink more iced tea, eat more SF Pudding, etc) rather than learn how to eat “regular-normal” foods in the right portion. And 2-I was creating a nutritional deficit…I was eating a ton of ‘food’ but deriving little nutritional value from it. This, in turn, was actually forcing my body to actually crave MORE food (in an attempt to get nutritent or replace the one’s the ‘fake’ foods were leeching out of my body).

    As scary as it was for me, I have pretty much given up all of these substitutes. And like Hanlie said above, if I don’t like a particular food without tons of sweetner then I don’t eat it (or now, I’ve adapted to eating it less sweet) or, as far as SF puddings and “light” yogurts sweetened with aspertame…I just don’t eat them. If I feel that the full calorie version of something is worth the splurge then I eat it…otherwise I cut it out of my diet and opt for something that falls within my calorie ‘comfort zone’ without the need for atifical ingrdients.

    Reply
    1. Fiona

      i totally relate, i used to do this. Litres and litres of sugarfree drink and jelly and lollies a day, i look back now and just shake my head. I’m learning about quality over quantity now. Which is a lot easier to do if your body isn’t ravenous!

      Reply
  24. Pingback: Food Week Finale, and a final thought about sugar. | Fat Girl Wearing Thin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>