When I was first diagnosed with Diabetes in 2005, I tried very hard to place the blame on myself, because I have what seems to be an overpowering “sweet tooth.” The Dr. assured me it was genetic, because my mother had it, her sister had it, and my sister has it. I’m sure it is genetic, and I am equally sure that my sweet tooth did its damage also. Irregardless, after 3 years, going from simply Byetta, pills, Lantus, Levemir, Novolog, Humulin, and now Humalog with a Pump, I still struggle from time to time with that infernal sweet tooth. I’m better, but the battle is still there. I ate something tonight I knew I shouldn’t have eaten, and two hours later my blood sugar is at 280 and my pump thinks there is an occlusion. I guess what I need is success stories about how you overcame that overwhelming urge to eat the things you knew would push you over the top. And yes, I am a man of faith, a pastor in fact, and this is at least one area that seems to threaten me with life and limb–literally. Being a pastor does not exempt me from the things that life throws at everyone of us. For all intents and purposes–right now… I am just a man with Diabetes who struggles to do all the things I know I’m supposed to do–and can’t seem to get there from here. Your thoughts?
My endocrinologist made several recommendations to me regarding my (let’s say 2-3 times per year) tendency to buy a bag of hershey kisses (or something comparable) or a box of godiva chocolates and eat the whole thing in one sitting. We came up with several ideas.
First of all, and we’ll all tell you this, DON’T have it in the house. Not in a dark closet, not in a shoe box, and certainly not on the kitchen counter. Don’t buy it, don’t bake it, don’t read its name on the menu. Don’t tell yourself you’ll just snack on one occasionally. It’s a lie! There are folks who can easily treat themselves now and then…but if you know in your heart you’re not one of them, don’t feed that line to yourself.
Secondly, find out a good estimated carb count in those treats and at least plan for them in your meal if you’re going to have them. I imagine 60-80g of carb for a big old piece of whatever at a restaurant and then I imagine taking the ridiculous bolus I would need, and normally, I’m content to leave it out. I check out Dotti’s Weight Loss Zone or Calorie King online before I leave for a restaurant. If you decide to eat it, take that bolus WELL in advance of eating it to give the humalog a headstart, and watch your sugars over the next 8 hours for the effects of the high fats.
Thirdly, find a substitute that you DON’T love. For instance, my endo says she loves sugar cookies and could eat a whole box. I’m the same way with small chocolates or with donuts. But we could trade and I could see a box of sugar cookies and just eat one. She feels the same way about chocolate and donuts. Find a sweet treat that does not trigger the eat-it-now-eat-it-all response in your brain.
This last suggestion is a great one that I have learned at Weight Watchers over the last 6 months. You can reward yourself, sure, but does it have to be every time you feel you need it? You can look at that cookie or piece of cake and say, you know what, not this time. Maybe next time. Or this weekend when I go out. But it won’t feel so much like deprivation if you know you CAN have it, but don’t have to do it now. When your sugars are out of control that day, it’s better to leave it for another day.
I agree with Melissa.You can still have a sweet dessert But,do it in moderation.Because you are on the pump you might not get the spike that you do when eating high carb desserts.The fat in most desserts is another culprit.One that I am still trying to find the correct time to deliver my combo bolus.I have eaten something high in fat and knew I would spike,but sometimes it doesn’t.Very puzzling.
I agree with Melissa…
DO NOT HAVE IT IN THE HOUSE… If you don’t see it, can’t get to it, you will not eat it:) that’s how I am managing my chip addiction.
Have a dessert but only in moderation…
The only problem with all this, is I have a wife and two kids who are not diabetic, and they can eat those things. Consequently, sometimes those things are in the house. I have a difficult time telling them they can’t have those things in the house because I’m diabetic. And then I think, “they should have the decency not to bring that stuff into the house, but I should be strong enough to just say no if they do.” And so, the vicious cycle continues.
There are some alternatives to when others have some thing around that you really like or just want to eat. I buy Russell Stover candy in a bag. They are the sugar free ones and taste really good. York also makes a sugar free peppermint pattie that is even better (to me) in the sugar free ones than the regular ones. They are small and in bags also, near the Russell Stover sugar free candy (at least at my Walmart). The second reason that these are a good choice is that you can’t eat more than 2 or 3 pieces of the candy because it will have you running to the bathroom if you do One time of trying out this idea is all it will take to convince you. They won’t give you too many calories at a time because you can’t eat that many and they are sugar free and taste good too. So if you have some on hand when others are eating something it is better for you than the regular. But sometime you can have the regular ones too, if you do the planning for it. Just not every day. The better thing i have done even though it has added a few more carbs than i would normally eat is to try out that new food you wanted to try and eat a piec of it instead. Tonight we had some baked squash that i have been wanting, a delicata squash. Marie B told me how to bake it and it was a nice size piece and added a few more carbs than usual but the vitamins and nutrition in it was good and the taste was really good, even sweet.
Anyway, the point is that i am more full than I would be if it was a dessert, but it was still good for me. i know there are so many temptations and a lot of them can be worked in. Just not each day.
I think one more suggestion is to save dessert for dessert. That means don’t touch it until after a meal. Once you’ve filled up on meat and potatoes (or whatever the meal is), you might be feeling full and might not want it, or at least not want as much. And if you end up indulging anyway, hopefully the proteins and fats from the meal will slow the blood sugar rise that you would otherwise get.
Also, I tend to substitute coffee for dessert. Yes, too much coffee isn’t good either, but it’s better for you than chocolate, and since it takes some time to finish a cup of hot coffee, the craving might be gone by then.
But I have to admit that the pump can be dangerous. It’s been tempting to bolus for 45 carbs and eat a Snickers bar. But I always feel lousy afterwards…
I love the coffee-for-dessert swap when I’m out with friends at a restaurant and they order dessert.
Bobby I don’t know about the rest of your health, well not all of it but could you learn to cover a once in a while treat with insulin?
I say this because guilt makes bad habits worse, and the “taboo” cause your not suppose to have it makes it harder to ignore. Maybe the answer is to decide ahead of time what treat you will have say once a week and learn how to cover that.
Also a sweet tooth may really be a sign for energy foods which are also not to easy for diabetics but an option maybe a serving of fresh fruit you can cover and you will get tons of good stuff with almost no fat. You could do that for the times you do not allow for a treat. I am not standing on a soap box of success in this matter I have my own self destroying habits mine just happen not to involve food. I know this can be hard so a small reward here and there might be a good way to keep you motivated.
Be well and be loved you are as we all are
I’d just eat a little, and instruct my friends to give me the hardest slap on the wrist if I go beyond that.
Alone? I still eat something sweet, but just a little. That’s where will power comes into play. Just think of the strips/medicines you will be wasting if you eat too much…
Or try substitution, if available, go for sugarless ice creams, gums, sugar-free chocolates, Coke Zero, just about anything to fake the taste buds.
I have the same situation here. I am the only one in our house with diabetes, and i can’t stop my family members to buy things that i shouldn’t be eating…temptations starts to tempt me and i just can’t help it to eat what i shouldn’t be eating. Temptations are everywhere…what shall I do about it, I just can’t help it…
I might be moving back in with my mom, for a while. I have one of those small cash boxes that lock up. I think I’ll give it to my mom so that she can lock up all her goodies. Nothing is worse for me than seeing food that I shouldn’t eat - it’s only a matter of time until I tuck in.
I use my cell phone when I go out to restaurants - You can send a message to 34381
you can find the directions here : http://www.diet.com/mobile/
use this whenever you go out and you don’t have to worry about mis-counting carbs.
Thanks Cynthia. That’s too cool! I’ll have to see how many restaurants down here in south Georgia are included.
Bobby, I’d check out calorie king, it’s a book (and also online) that lists the carb count and calories of lots of restaurants. here’s just one of a zillion discussions we’ve had here about it. You can buy the book at any bookstore.
Another thing that helped me was going to a RD, registered dietician, and a CDE, diabetes educator. You can discuss strategies that will work for you - everybody’s different. I’m so glad you are here!
I do not have diabetis, still I have a similar problem with my very big “sweet tooth”. The thing is that execs of sugar and bad carbs are not good for anybody.
Portion control and finding a good healthy substitute that it is still sweet can help.
Some great snacks we try to have:
- 1/2 apple with 100 gr of cheese or ham, or 50gr each.
- 1/2 protein bar.
- Smoothie with protein powder.
- Fresh strawberries with whipped cream (small cup)
- Ricotta cheese with splenda and cinnamon and fresh blueberries.
- 1/2 low sugar ice cream sandwich. (usually the ones out of soy milk have more protein)
All this work very good with my husband’s levels. He does not eat regular candy or chocolate unless he is getting out of a low… but, No, I am not a saint… I must not have those things at home… specially since we work from home… it is very easy to get distracted thinking about the piece of cake on the kitchen. I simply can not have marble cake, or I will eat it all in one day, nothing else will matter to me until I have it all, crazy…
With years and stress on my back, I have found that eating healthy is one of the hardest thing to do constantly. I try my best to keep it as a priority. So many things are related to what you eat. For me, there is not an easy route. I know that I have to control myself to stay healthy.
Hi, My Husband and daughter are both diabetic, but myself and my 2 little ones are not. I normally will not buy those sort of things. Mostly because i will eat them all myself. I have also found some really great alternatives from food newtork that are lower in fat and better in sugar (they don’t use it). Ellie Krieger, they also have a great low carb guy. I love his meatloaf (its stuffed!) I believe the title is low carb and lovin it. I don’t think that they broadcast the show anymore, but I think they still have the recipies.
There are lots of ways to get sweet, w/out the bad stuff. We love splenda in my house, Even myself and my children use it. I have a cook book for desserts from splenda. Yummy!
Good Luck. I think the hardest part is saying out loud that there is a problem having those things around.
I know this won’t sound like it will help much, but it has been amazing for me. Find something that isn’t sweet that you love and keep it stocked. For example, I love glazed doughnuts (cant remember the last time I had one though), but I also love cheese. I admit when I crave a doughnut I don’t expect cheese to be nearly as good, but I always keep it around. When I get tempted to grab something that will make me pay later, I have the cheese instead. No carbs, no guilt, no chance of gaining extra pounds from the extra bolus… it’s a win win. After awhile you’ll find that those cravings don’t come by nearly as often and when they do, you won’t have any problem telling yourself what the better choice is.
I have been trying to buy cookbooks with diabetes friendly recipes. This helps a lot in the beginning. I must say that once you become used to not using sugar or eating sugar-free stuff the sweet tooth goes away. though lime melissa said you should indulge -with limitations- a couple of times a year. for me it coldstone ice cream. ice creammmmmm…
Mmmmmmmm… Ricotta cheese, splenda, cinnamon, and blueberries, now I want some!