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What Sweetener Should You Use Instead of Sugar?

Ask Bitten Jonsson

If you have troublesome sugar cravings, what sweetener should you use instead of sugar?

This and other questions (what do you do about repeated uncontrolled eating at night?) are answered this week by our food addiction expert, Bitten Jonsson, RN:


 

What sweetener should I use?

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.
Cathy

Thank you so much for raising this Q. And your guess is right, sweeteners cause cravings for sugar and also stop weight loss in many people. It’s a ”merry-go-round”. What shall I use as a substitute is the most common Q I get. My answer is: nothing, there are no substitutes.

My answer is: nothing, there are no substitutes.
Have you read any books about addictive brains? We need to have 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 give 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.

What do I do about uncontrolled eating at night?

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 eat 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 things are around, we become obsessed and we 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 etc. Remember it is unpleasant to experience hunger and cravings but they 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

How do I find the support to get back on track?

Dear Bitten,

I hope you are well. Your videos and talks are inspirational and I thank you for your advice.

I’ve had a horrible virus for 7 weeks & coupled with a trip to Berlin I have fallen off the wagon good & proper & I can’t seem to get back on. For a while all I could taste was sweet things thus I’ve been living off sugary carbs & pizza. I have gained over a stone and feel quite despondent. I don’t feel like I can start all over again.

This has been my problem for years; I have been in this cycle and I always find a reason to eat badly. I’m a sugar and carb addict and I think I need additional help. I have looked for groups to join but they all seem to have a religious and/or spiritual connection and that’s just not me. Can you recommend anyone who could help? I live in Manchester in the north of England and I’m willing to travel for help. I’m 51 and at the tail end of the menopause and I want to get a grip before my health is seriously affected.

Thank you in advance.
Jan


Jan, what you describe is the typical roller coaster for us addicts and a virus is very tough on our bodies, it drains our adrenals and we feel wired and tired and then our brain screams for a quick fix. On top of that you were travelling. Which also takes a lot of energy. And you are in menopause which needs to be dealt with.

It sound like you need neuronutrient therapy at this point to restore your energy to start with. I agree that many support groups still do not have focus on what I call a Holistic Approach, but I am absolutely convinced that we addicts need to get spiritual tools to be able to both improve and sustain our wellness and recovery.

If we read the definition by ASAM, / American Society of Addiction Medicine, we addicts have a physical brain illness that results in Physical, Phsycological, Social and Spiritual consequences. I have explained this several time to other people here. But we can not comprehend what we need until we have repaired our broken chemistry. Right now you need help with that.

I suggest that you get help from one of my top counselors in Sweden, she will be able to work with you through Skype to start with. Her English is excellent. If this is an option please send me an email to bitten.jonsson@bittensaddiction.com.

 

Related

How to Lose Weight #9: Avoid Artificial Sweeteners

Earlier Q&A with Bitten

Dealing with Emotional Eating

Losing Willpower at Night and Eating

Addicted to Nuts?

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)

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One Comment

  1. nancy
    The low carb desserts and breads set off a binge for me, pretty soon I am at a store buying jelly beans and candy corn. I'm better of spending the time and energy to make a meatloaf or cauliflower something.

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