Ask our expert about food addiction

Ask Bitten Jonsson

Do you have a hard time controlling cravings for food – in particular sweet or processed foods? Do you experience lack of control over your eating? Ask your questions here:

Ask Bitten Jonsson, RN, About Food Addiction – for members (free trial available)

Here are three questions, answered by Bitten:

Artificial sweeteners

Thank you Bitten for your videos. I never really thought of myself as a sugar addict but I have known that I am a food/carb addict for many years. Lately I have found it very difficult to resist donuts, cookies and the like. I am back on the LCHF wagon after some stints with calorie counting, exercise mania, etc. and feeling much better.

One thing no one here addresses is sweeteners. I know the artificial sweeteners are dangerously bad but what are we to use for sweetening? Or does using any kind of sweetener sabotage our efforts to break the addiction? Is it just a continuation of a bad habit?
Thank you for your kind response.


Thank you so much for raising this Q. And your guess is right, sweeteners cause cravings for sugar and also stops weightloss in many people. It’s a ”merry-go-round”.

What shall I use as a substitute is the most common question I get. My answer is: nothing, there are no substitutes.

Have you read any books about addictive brains? We need to have a great knowledge and insight into addiction in order to learn to live with our chronic illness. There are no shortcuts. It takes a lot of self-love and patience to make the necessary lifestyle changes that gives us peace to live with addiction.

We also need other people in order to recover. Soon there will be a list of self-help groups on this site and I recommend you connect with one of them to learn more about how to live happy, joyous and free without ”sweets”. I wish you the best.

Night eating

In the past year, I have been dealing with what I think is Night Eating Syndrome. I do well during the day, but wake up several times during the night and binge on high-carb foods. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. Help!


Hi Nancy, first of all I think you should make sure there are no carbs in your house. We addicts have loss of control and if these things are around, we become obsessed and we will eat them.

If your family wants these foods ask them to lock them up. I know this sounds crazy but we have to go to any length in order to abstain from our drug.

Then you need to make sure you eat enough of the right kind of foods during the day. For two weeks I suggest you eat a late evening meal, eat four times a day during this period and the last meal one hour before bedtime.

You also need a plan for what you do if and when you wake up. I suggest you drink decaffeniated tea with a tablespoon of organic coconut oil, writing, reading etc.

Remember, it is unpleasant to experience hunger and cravings but it will pass. To keep waking up and eating will make you tired and eat more the next night. A merry-go-round. Good luck, Bitten

Hot flushes

Thank you for the videos. I have been cutting down on sugar for about 3 months and now doing lchf, losing weight feeling good. But I keep getting hot flushes. I am 67. Not menopause al. Will these go away?


Interesting, I have heard that before but it is not common, and it can certainly be a ”detox problem”. I assume you have been eating sugar for many years and of course your body will react to your change in food.

Hot flushes are associated with fluctuating blood sugar in sensitive people. It can of course have other causes. Is the change stressful for you? Do you sleep well? Those are some of the things I would look at. It can also be food intolerance, most common are dairy products. You can try to take away all those except butter for three weeks to se if there is a change. If it persists you need to have it checked.


More Questions and Answers

Read all earlier questions and answers – and ask your own! – here:

Ask Bitten Jonsson, RN, About Food Addiction – for members (free trial available)

More About Food Addiction

First Part of Our Sugar Addiction Video Course – Free for All!

What Is Sugar Addiction? – Bitten Jonsson
One Day in A Sugar Addict's Life – Bitten Jonsson
It's Not About Willpower – Bitten Jonsson
Are You Sugar Addicted – Bitten Jonsson
The 3 Stages of Sugar Addiction – Bitten Jonsson
How to Quit Sugar – Bitten Jonsson
How to Stay Quit – Bitten Jonsson
How to Avoid Relapse – Bitten Jonsson
Don't Act on False Emotions – Bitten Jonsson
If You Fail to Plan, You Plan to Fail – Bitten Jonsson
How to Reach Long-Term Recovery – Bitten Jonsson
The First Steps to Treatment – Bitten Jonsson

One comment

  1. tz
    As far as sweeteners, one thing that helped me is to have lots of things around that weren't sweet that I could eat or drink in response to my desire for something sweet until my desire went away.

    The most important thing was to actually eat or drink something that was not sweet, especially if it had some other strong flavor since for a long time something sweet (or something like potatoes) was linked with nutritients, so a desire which might have been satisfied by cheese was satisfied by cheesecake. You need to break and/or remake the link. Teas of various kinds - find one or two; have boiled eggs and some spices to eat them with; "lunchmeats" maybe with mayo. I often decided I wasn't really hungry when I had all these alternatives.

    I no longer have a "sweet tooth". Sometimes I want (raw) milk or eggs or meats, but I never want anything starchy or sweet now.

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