How to deal with unsupportive family members?

Ask Bitten Jonsson

If you’re addicted to sugar and carbs, how do you deal with unsupportive family members?

This and other questions – How do you flavor coffee without sugar? And how do you deal with a relapse? – are answered this week by our food addiction expert, Bitten Jonsson, RN:

How do you deal with unsupportive family members?

I am very apprehensive to starting a low-carb eating style, as my family wants next to nothing to do with this (at least for right now).

I am worried that I will have a lot of waste, being the only one to eat many of the recipes in the meal plans. Being sugar/carb addicted, I am fearful of being tempted too much with what others will choose to have around in my house (they tend not to be in the moment when it comes to what I would like to do to be healthy and what they choose to continue doing when it involves food).

Lastly, I worry that this will take up way too much of my limited time (mom of two, working full-time) and I will easily go off track to how it’s always been with food in my life.



I hear you, this is a very difficult question to answer. I advise my clients to ask family members for help. Example, I (Jaimie) do have a serious problem with certain foods, and specify which, and the smell and sight of them trigger my condition. So can you help me by not eating that in front of me and or respect me for not eating them.

And also it is important that your health is number one if you want to recover. Otherwise you will be stuck in your disease and your condition worsen. In order to restore your energy I think it is vital that you start eating what is best for you. Do you have support? In the support groups we discuss this topic a lot and many have found ways to handle it.

Take care,

How do you flavor coffee without sugar?

Hi Bitten,

I have been doing LCHF for almost two months and have lost 14 pounds (6 kg). I feel great and no more stomach issues! The only sugar I have is one teaspoon in my coffee in the morning. It pushes my carb intake up by 4 grams so I would rather find some other way of flavoring my coffee and not have an sugar at all. I don’t like substitutes; they leave an aftertaste and they are just as much carbs. I really don’t want to give up my one cup of coffee a day and I don’t like taste with cream and sugar. Can you help?


Hi Mary,

This is easy. Try cinnamon spice, it has a natural sweet flavor or cardamom in your coffee. Or some coconut cream. Those are great ways to spice up your coffee without sugar or sweeteners.


How do you deal with a relapse?

I’ve been ketogenic on and off (always low carb) for nearly two years now. I lost 15 kg (33 lbs) and never felt better.

The last five weeks I’ve been grieving the death of my father and lots of other day to day pressures etc… I’m really surprised that I completely gave in to carbs again as a form of emotional eating and have put on 5 kg (11 lbs) and feel miserable.

I’m starting my keto diet today but have now lost faith in myself and how easily I derailed! Do you hear of this happening often? Does this mean every time things get really hard I fail? I think what I’m really asking for is some guidance to keep me on track.



I am so sorry for your loss and understand it is hard on you. And I can also see that you understand that not taking care of your health during this time is making it even harder.

First I like to say again that dealing with sugar/food addiction is not only a weight issue. In order to live in recovery we should put 10% of our focus on the new food plan and the biochemical repair (here is weight) 40% focus on relapse prevention, thoughts, feelings, urges and actions that drive our addiction, brain knowledge, addiction knowledge and developing new behavior in order to deal with our illness. 50% of our focus need to be on support groups since food addiction is the toughest of all due to our survival instinct to eat. And one of the things I work most with is relapse prevention as most clients relapse.

A relapse is a learning situation not a failure and we say “fall down seven ties, get up eight” I recommend you to get the book Staying sober by Terence T Gorski, best book I know about relapse, he writes “alcohol” but it is exactly the same with food. I do not know if you have support otherwise get that and another great book about the topic is Food Junkies by Dr. Vera Tarman. Relapses are avoidable and treatable.

Take care,


Earlier Q&A with Bitten

What Should I Do After a Slip Up?

Can You Drink Diet Soda on a Low-Carb Diet?

What Sweetener Should You Use Instead of Sugar?

Dealing with Emotional Eating

Losing Willpower at Night and Eating

Addicted to Nuts?

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One comment

  1. noele
    the way i "flavor" my coffee without sugar is to add a half to a whole tsp of (i use ) almond flavoring to the coffee when i brew a pot . just put it right in with the grounds at the can use any flavoring you like play around with it

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