Confessions of a Sugarholic

Mastermind Weekend 1/16

Hey there!

I'm Tina

I’m the owner of Carrots ‘N’ Cake as well as a Certified Nutrition Coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN-P). I use macros and functional nutrition to help women find balance within their diets while achieving their body composition goals.

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I eat too much sugar. In fact, there are some days that I eat more dessert than “real” food. (Hence, not posting all of my meals and the likely culprit for my recent weight gain.)

Of course, I don’t think there is anything wrong with enjoying a little sugar every now and then””this blog is called Carrots ”˜N’ Cake after all””but I’ve been really overdoing it lately.

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At first, I really enjoyed these sugary indulges. I love eating dessert, so why not enjoy them to the fullest, especially during the holidays? I knew that I wasn’t eating many nutritious foods, but it didn’t bother me”¦  until my body started to feel the effects: 

  • My appetite is all over the place.
  • My cravings are out-of-control.
  • I feel like I’m never fully satisfied.
  • I had four cavities at my last visit to the doctor.
  • I experience mood swings.
  • My energy and motivation are low.
  • I feel lethargic and useless.
  • Eating sweets sometimes doesn’t satisfy my sugar cravings

The final straw was when my skin started to break out like crazy. When that happens, I know that I’m not treating my body well. Clearly, something needed to change.

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In the past 6 months or so, it’s safe to say that my eating habits have definitely changed, but not for the better! I used to eat healthy, nutritious foods 80% of the time, but, nowadays, it’s more like 50% of the time. It seems that I’ve gotten a little lazy with my health.  

If you don’t like something about yourself, change it.

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Initially, I thought a sugar cleanse was the way to go, but who am I kidding? Give up sugar? I would fail miserably and, really, I just don’t want to do it. I live for dessert!!! I just need to eat less of it and more of the nutritious, wholesome stuff.

I realize that trying to cut back on sugar right before Christmas isn’t the most ideal time to do so, but I’ve made up my mind and want to get started. (Really, what’s the point of waiting until January 1st?) However, I’m not going to go crazy and ban all sugar from diet. I want to enjoy Christmas with my family, but I will keep it in mind.

Writing this post really helped me identify what’s going on and how I want to change my eating habits. I guess I needed to give myself a little reality check. I know that I’m still healthy, but I could definitely do better. In the end, I’m the only one accountable for my health.

I know that a bunch of people said they want to do a sugar cleanse with me. I’m not going to do a “traditional” sugar cleanse, but I’m going to work toward reducing my sugar intake. (I have lots of post ideas!) Yesterday, I started a little journal (just on a piece of paper that I keep on my desk) to help me determine when and why I crave sweets. Whenever a craving hits me, I record what time it happens, where I am, how I feel, what I am craving, and whether or not I give into the craving. If you want to start this challenge on Monday, I recommend doing the same thing. I think these notes will help give us some insight into our sugar cravings.

More to come! I’m just getting started! 😀

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128 Comments

  1. I just want to say that it is very refreshing to see that even the most successful health blogger struggles sometimes with healthy eating.

    I hope you’re able to find your balance again. 🙂 I’m on the lookout as well.

  2. Great post! I think it’s so true that just like it’s a gradual increase IN sugar, one needs to take an approach of a gradual decrease. A drastic change of anything isn’t something you can really keep up with (unless of course it’s sugar consumption….) 😉

  3. I’m right there with you! December is a bad month for my waistline. 🙂 However, I’ve consumed an entire bag of salad greens in the past two days so I’m confident that my body is coming back around to it’s healthy habits. I still want sweets but I’m craving whole grains and veggies- it’s good to know that I can trust my body to set itself right when I got overboard during the holidays. I’m looking forward to having a veggie filled new year and cutting back on sugar as well once the holidays are over.

  4. I ate so much sugar last night I wanted to cry – and then I realized I need to clean up my diet, not cry about it. I am trying to cut back too. Starting now, not on the 1st.

  5. This is a great idea because you CARE about your health. I think that in making any change it is important to realize WHY and that you are doing it for YOURself and for no one else. I totally support your decision if you believe this is the best step for you! I know that I do not feel as energetic or excited if I have too much sugar, so I have been watching the sugar this season and I feel WAY less stressed about holiday eating/sugar and I have completely enjoyed the season way more! Good luck this next week or so- it is truly the hardest time to be cutting back on sugar, but I know you can do it if you want it 🙂 However, I think it is so great that you’re not waiting with the rest of the country until the 1st to change.

    I like that you see the change you want and you’re ready to implement it. That rocks! Good luck 🙂

  6. I had the same problem when I was training for a marathon. I was hungry all the time, and a cupcake was much more satisfying than nuts or a sandwich, or so I thought. I bet you will have a lot more energy cutting back on sugary stuff.

  7. Tina, I loved this post!!! I feel SOOO much better when I stick to my healthy habits, with fruits, veggies, and real food, but save room for the treats that I REALLY like. It’s hard to remember that while shoving cookies in my mouth, though. My goal this holiday is to take a deep breath before I decide whether or not to eat a goodie! Good luck to you! 🙂

  8. Tina this is awesome. I love sugar — treats, cookies, cake, etc. But, like you, I experience the mood swings and the breakouts when I consume too much! This time of year is hard because I am constantly surrounded by baked goods (most of which I make!)

    For right now, my plan is to not have any sweets/treats after 7pm — that helps me not have too much (since I usually want them most of all at night!)

  9. I remember back when you consulted with a nutritionist she reccommended including healthy fats in your meals to make them more satisfying. Are you still doing that? I find that when I have a small portion of healthy fats that helps me. Also, I don’t agree with trying to entirely cut out sugar either. For me it’s a very enjoyable part of life. However, I do find it to be a good exercise to try going just ONE day with no “treats.” It’s funny how going several days in a row really lessens the desire. I’ve recently been trying to go through a whole day with nothing more than a peppermint after meals. It’s very empowering and refreshing to break that “need.”

  10. It’s also possible that all the iced coffees and other sources of caffeine are having an effect. Since I broke my coffee habit over the summer, I’ve been less lethargic at work and sleeping better at night.

    If your foot’s still giving you grief, that’s yet another good reason to keep the sugar in check, since it can contribute to tissue and joint inflammation.

  11. Good luck to you! It really makes a huge difference in how you feel if you can keep everything you eat below 5 grams of sugar or so (I don’t apply that rule to fresh fruit though). I’ve been increasing my sugar intake lately from barely having any, and I can definitely tell it in my mood more than anything. It’s weird how eating a lot of sugar actually contributes to your blood sugar dropping off and that trembly-I’m going to pass out if I don’t eat-feeling.

    Happy Holidays to you and your family!

  12. Kudos to you for starting such a big challenge in the holidays. I agree that there is no point in waiting until January 1st to focus on health.

    One thing that really helps me put healthy eating in perspective ( don’t get me wrong, I have just as many slip-ups as the next person) is to think about how it will make me feel on my run the next day. I don’t know about you but it really frustrates me when I have a lousy run and I know it’s because I ate too much sugar the day before.

    Keep us posted. 🙂

  13. Hi Tina! I am a new to your blog as of November. Great work!!! I am glad to hear that you have decided against a full blown sugar cleanse. I have dealt with yo-yo dieting and compulsive eating disorder as a result of extreme measures such as sugar cleanses. I’m still struggling, but after almost a year of counseling I have made wonderful progress in becoming a more normal eater. No food is off limits now and I eat more mindfully. I really appreciate how you stick with a healthy lifestyle through small, manageable changes rather than extreme changes that are impossible to stick with. It’s great that you realize you can never give up sweets, as you shouldn’t. Life would not be fun without cookies. 🙂 Happy Holidays!

  14. this is a great post – it’s really made me think about my own excessive sugar intake. i live for desser too – so there is no way i could cut it out of my diet completely, but i really do need to make healthier choices!

  15. I just wrote something very similar on Angela OSG’s site which was that I was actually *just* prewriting some of my posts for the next few days and was going to ask if people were sugared/desserted/cookied out? Because yes, around this time of year it’s in abundance.

    And I love desserts like nobody’s biz but I also balance it with exercise, a healthy diet, and a good attitude..and moderation. I don’t deny myself things if I want a bite or two, but that’s what I have. I dont need to have 4 cookies if all I want is a bite. That’s how I balance. Because I would too, fail, if I tried to give up all sugar.

    I also cringe at the word “cleanse”. It implies we are dirty, bad, or making such poor choices that we need to “cleanse”. I like your newer approach MUCH better..being mindful 🙂

  16. You are def right about doing this gradually, going right to saying NO sugar at all is not a good way, lots of people do that with diets ( I know you know this : ) and fail because you cant just put your self in shock like that! lol

    I am thinking I need more healthy fats in my life for the new year! xoxo

  17. Oh. my. Goodness. I couldn’t have said it better myself. I’m dealing with the same overindulgence problem. And the point when I know it’s gone WAY too far is when my skin starts breaking out. It looks like red x-mas lights all over my freakin’ face 🙂 Anyway, <3

  18. Oh Tina, how I feel you on this subject. I know that when I’m not careful, it IS really easy for me to gravitate towards 50% sugar/50% healthy food. It’s a little off balance. I like your idea of understanding your cravings better; I’m working on that right now as well. Although I was highly recommended to do a quick sugar cleanse (like 3 days) which I’m still not convinced about but sugar is a drug so maybe flushing my body out of it first may help. Not sure. I’m definitely looking forward to hearing more about your progress!
    Email me if you ever need some support 🙂

  19. In addition to comment “1”. I agree with uping the “real” food. I have recently significantly increased my workout regime and at first my sugar cravings were out of control. I did a week sugar detox and upped my protein by 10 grams per meal, made sure to always eat on time/ not skipping a meal and the cravings subsided.

  20. Good for you! I so needed this inspiration right now. I went crazy with sugar the past week – cookies, candy, cakes, everything in sight – yet NEVER felt satisfied. Sugar is delicous but it really is a drug.

  21. Thanks for such a great post! I’ve been feeling the exact same way and it is nice to see I’m not the only one having the sugar needs and how it has been affecting my day-to-day routine.

    Happy Christmas Adam!! 🙂

  22. I totally have months like that too. When I let go, its usually all the way. I really am an all or nothing girl. But I like your idea of keeping a journal. I think that level of awareness will really help. Good luck and happy holidays!

  23. @Jess:
    Jess….I am right there with you! My entire life I have struggled with binging on sugar. I have never been able to control my self around it, and when people suggested cutting back, or cutting it out i just scoffed at them. Recently I was challenged by my trainer to do a two week plan of super clean eating (no refined carbs, no sugar etc)… it was the two weeks before thanksgiving…and I was just..went for it.
    I haven’t looked back. I feel amazing. I crave less, I eat less, I sleep better, I feel better.
    I am allowing myself a certain amount of leeway during the holidays, but now that i feel so good…sugar/refined carbs make me feel so bad, and I”m not having a hard time at all keeping it in check around the abundance of sweets.

  24. i agree with Sarah (the SHU box) + her first comment. instead of looking at sugar negatively, i would just instead focus on filling up on fruits + vegetables. my rule for getting back on track is getting 10 servings of fruits + veg per day – the rest usually falls right into place…

    it’s the Christmas holiday…ENJOY!!!

  25. I agree. I love sugar, but then when I overdo it, I feel gross afterwards. Eating healthy food like lots of veggies later usually helps me feel better though.

  26. I think the variety of comments to this post is proof that all of our bodies are different. There is no question that I function best when refined foods (including sugar) are not part of my diet. An occasional treat is not a smart decision for me but that doesn’t mean that’s true for everyone. I think that you know your body the best and want to treat it right, so you will do what helps you accomplish that. Looking forward to reading what you find to be most effective for you!

  27. good luck tina! i too am a sugar addict. a few months ago the doctors thought i could be prediabetic – thankfully i’m not, but it gave me a scare. giving up sugar cold turkey via a cleanse is a very slippery slope so i’m glad to hear you’re not doing that – will be curious to see what happens with you (and me!)

  28. Amen sister. You said it and I agree with you on all counts! When I was heavier I never used to crave sweets but with all my weight loss, I stopped eating fried foods and craving bad foods like that but I started LOOOVING sweets. Since Thanksgiving I’ve been so nuts with cookies and candies and I really don’t like the way I’m going about it. I too have probably eaten more sweets than normal food today. NOOO GOOD! But every days a new day. Anyways! Thank you- you said what I’ve been thinking about myself.

  29. I’ve been feeling the same way. I know I have a huge sweet tooth but I also know I have to care for myself and feed myself the way I know I feel best. I have no doubt you will get back to a place and balance you feel best with.

  30. After my sugar binge at lunch today (I ate a totally responsible meal and then with crazy with pie and all the treats at work), I realized that I have a definite problem with sweets. I do well when I do not eat any sweets, but once I start, it is almost impossible to stop. I keep going until I can’t find any more sweets to eat, and then I feel sick and headache-y. I’d love to do a sugar cleanse – but could also use some help eating sugary foods responsibly (i.e. actually stopping after one treat!).

  31. I’ve also been eating too many sweets – but I probably bake 5 times throughout the rest of the year – but probably twice a week during the holidays! – so I figure that I don’t need a cleanse, since I will naturally have less sweets around me after the holidays!

    Out of curiosity, why do you not blog all your meals for the day when they are unhealthy or too sugary? It seems that you want to show a really balanced outlook on your blog, but part of overall balance is not just daily balance, but sometimes going through periods of weeks where your eating is less than ideal. This is part of balancing throughout life, and it almost comes across as deceptive that you only want to blog all your meals when they are perfect! Do you just not take pictures of sweets? Or do you not want people commenting? Is it a purposeful or accidental omission?

    Good luck cutting down on sweets! It’s usually really easy after Christmas anyway since no one is bringing treats to parties/work/etc.

  32. Great post! I have been overindulging in sugar myself lately 🙁

    I would love to do a sugar cleanse too…I think the biggest change I’ve noticed in myself has been mood swings & cravings. I HAVE to be better about what I eat…

  33. I’m a really big sugar head too, so this is really interesting to read. I don’t think I can give up sugar completely, but will be interested in seeing whether I can follow yoru lead and cut down a bit…

  34. I absolutely love your journal idea! I’ve been thinking that I’ve been eating too much sugar recently, too, and I find that the more sugar I eat, the more I crave! I’m going to borrow your idea and do the same. Thanks for a great post!

  35. you are totally not alone! my eating has been out of control. trying to be mindful about it for now and get real serious around january 8th–or so!

  36. I have the exact same problem and I’ve heard from a lot of people that the problem is a lack of protein. While I don’t think we need as much protein as mainstream diets tell us we do, I find this to be true on some level – when I focus on eating lean meats/fish at lunch, I find that I crave sweets less the whole day. Good luck, and I think a lot of us will be there with you after the holidays!

  37. I feel very much the same. I read your blog every day, but never comment because I feel like I have nothing new to say. But, my cravings have been crazy. The problem for me too is that I’m naturally pretty thin so people always say “have it, have it” and the past month or so I’ve been eating much more “bad for me” foods than “good for me” foods. I’m giving myself until Christmas day and then I’m doing a six day cleanse and I’m going to refrain from sugar added foods for two weeks. My problem is that I’m so afraid of fats that I refuse them, but I never refuse sugar. I need to learn better to enjoy healthy fats and refrain from sugar. It’s really starting to effect me. Pimples, stomach discomfort, and I get cravings to the point where it’s all I can think about. You go girl! I’ll be cutting back at the same time, and will enjoy reading your experience to help me scooter through mine.

  38. I’m jumping on board! I also eat waaaaaaaay too much sugar. It leaves me tired, cranky, and heavy. (Plus, I just had a root canal, for the love o’ Pete!)
    Here’s to less sugar and more energy!

  39. I’m right there with you. Between all the treats at work and the desserts I’ve baked for family and coworkers, I’m sick of all the sugar and the effects I’m feeling. I don’t think I can stick to keeping a journal, but I’ve noticed I crave sugar a lot less when I eat higher protein meals than what I typically eat.

  40. Thanks so much for this post! This holiday season I seem to be overdoing it as well…also to the point were my skin is beginning to breakout 🙁 I was also waiting until the New Year, but after another day with 1 too many cookies, I’m on a cleanse starting tomorrow. For me it really is cutting the sweets all together. I need to remember how to resolve those cravings without cookies, blondies, etc.

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