What If You Have a Sweet Tooth?

I’d be the first to raise my hand and admit to having somewhat of a sweet tooth. Okay, it’s more than somewhat of a sweet tooth. From the time I was a little girl I remember being the child in class who would volunteer to do anything for a piece of candy. “Sure Miss Evans, I’ll stand out in the heat and clap together erasers for a piece of candy.” That was me. When we got birthday treats at friend’s parties I always counted my candy to make sure I had the same amount as everyone else, and when I had extra money in high school, I’d head over to the convenience store to buy candy.

Sadly, my obsession with candy and sweets continued into college and adulthood. Even after I had my first daughter, I’d buy candy at the grocery store and slip it into my purse so I wouldn’t have to share it with anyone. When Easter, Christmas and birthday party candy was around the house I’d systematically work my way through the kid’s bags. The gooey chocolate candy like Snickers and Rolos went first, followed by the plain Hershey bars and finally I’d stoop low enough to eat the Tootsie Rolls and hard candy. The poor kids sometimes asked what happened to some of their candy, but I just shrugged my shoulders and chewed gum so they wouldn’t be able to tell I had just eaten chocolate.

I was ashamed of myself sometimes. But that didn’t stop me from eating sweet thing after sweet thing.

I worried about my sweet tooth when I finally began losing weight. I worried whether or not I’d be able to avoid eating candy and brownies long enough to actually lose some weight. The first couple of months I went cold turkey. I didn’t eat any chocolate and I said no to almost every dessert that came my way. I did eat a small piece of my own birthday cake, but let the other birthday’s slide by with no cake.

Eventually, I did have a piece of chocolate and even though I was hoping I wouldn’t like it anymore, I still did like it. So I had to reconcile my sweet tooth with my new healthier living lifestyle. 

For the first year, here are some strategies I employed that helped me succeed:

Moratorium on chocolate for a while (fill in your weakness for chocolate)

Did not purchase chocolate secretly (if I bought it, I showed it to everyone and we shared it)

Decided ahead of time whether I was going to have dessert at social functions

Was not apologetic when people tried to make me feel guilty about not eating cake.

Planned for a sweet on occasion. Planned, prepared a small amount and ate what was appropriate.

Asked my husband not to bring chocolate home for me as a treat.

Gave myself some leeway because this was SUCH a new behavior

If you have a sweet tooth-how are you managing itDiane

31 thoughts on “What If You Have a Sweet Tooth?

  1. Susan says:

    I let myself have small amounts once in a while say once a month sometimes more often but usually not. Daily I eat 2 helpings of fruit and that helps keep my sweet tooth in check most of the time.
    .-= Susan´s last blog ..The Wagon =-.

  2. Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman says:

    I’ve never, ever been able to manage my sweet tooth. But I found a way only recently. Because of my husband’s job and commute, we don’t get home until 6:30 every night. After the gym and cooking, we’re not done with making dinner until around 8:30 or 9. That doesn’t leave me much time to get hungry (or semi-hungry) and ready for a dessert. Since I’ve been eating later dinners, I haven’t had a dessert. It’s a miracle. But really it’s just because I’m still full. Does wonders for post-dinner snacking too. The 11-hour days, I wouldn’t recommend though.
    .-= Tracey @ I’m Not Superhuman´s last blog ..The Problem With Big Bowls… =-.

  3. Pam says:

    Mt sweet tooth seemed to tame the further I got into my journey. More recently – my old friend chocolate hasn’t even tasted good to me! I was happy and sad all at the same time! I think you can re-vamp a lot of desserts as I have done on my food blog and still have an occasional treat, too.
    I love your list, though!
    .-= Pam´s last blog ..Listen To Your Body =-.

  4. vickie says:

    I have a hard time with this snowballing for me. Because SWEET then sets off wanting SALT. Which then sends me back to wanting SWEET. Vicious circle.

    I used to have to monitor myself for several days AFTER eating something sweet/salt. It was as if I would be okay with that planned/measure single item – but had to pay attention for the WANTS that kicked up in my mind for DAYS.

    Whether this is chemistry or pure psychology (learned behavior/conditoning) I am not sure.

    REALLY good post!
    .-= vickie´s last blog ..Tuesday – with no left arm =-.

  5. Desert Agave says:

    My issue is more of a salt tooth. Chips especially. I’ve been dealing with it for now by just not having them. I don’t know if I’ll eventually try to work them into my diet with moderation or not. For now, I’m sticking with staying away.
    .-= Desert Agave´s last blog ..Weigh In and the Menu Plan =-.

  6. Emergefit says:

    On this one I might argue a bit, and do so in the name increased mental strength. I too have a sweet tooth; profound and consistent. Rather than avoid sweets, I embrace them — as they should be embraced; scarcely. I will argue the first spoonful of ice cream is the best, and the law of diminishing returns supports that each subsequent spoonful offers less satisfaction — despite the craving to eat it.

    As a mind exercise, I once kept a pint of ice cream in my freezer — to see how long I could make it last. The deal I made with myself, was that I had to have a taste every single day. It lasted 37 days — some very small tastes. At the end of the 37 days, I felt a great kind of strength — similar to running faster or lifting more than ever before, because in a great sense, I improved the most important strength that counts; mental strength.

    Also, I start each day with a single Hershey’s Kiss — just one because that’s all it takes. I appreciate them so much more that way. It took time to develop this, but I think it’s a strength worth pursuing. Cheez-Its notwithstanding 🙂
    .-= Emergefit´s last blog ..Running Toward A T-Rex… =-.

  7. Jody - Fit at 52 says:

    Ya know Diane, sweets & bread like items were my biggest issue with weight loss. I don’t care about the meat & potatos & such.. I love me my sweets! I had to give up the cinnamon rolls & such but luckily I have found healthy bread I love & works for me in my food program!

    Sweets, plan for them.. that is what I do. I just know that I can’t have them all the time like I used to do AND I have to use portion control. When I was fat it was not 1 brownie or cookie, it was 4 or 5 or more!!! None of that anymore! 🙂
    .-= Jody – Fit at 52´s last blog ..What Decision are You Going to Make =-.

  8. Shawnee says:

    I am ok with the sweets. Is it weird to say have a starchy-salty tooth? I can’t keep my hands off of chips or french fries or anything else that is salty or crunchy. 🙁 This one is hard for me.
    .-= Shawnee´s last blog ..5 day July 4th Weekend =-.

  9. Stacy says:

    I have a sweet tooth, too. I also have rather weak teeth, so if I eat something goey and it gets caught in my teeth where I have exposed nerves…well, that makes me not want to eat goey things LOL! I swore off all sweets during the Christmas holidays when I started trying to lose weight. Not too hard, since I would rather have chocolate than baked goods anyday. This lack of sugar moved me from liking milk chocolate to dark chocolate. Milk chocolate is too sweet for me now. I’ll allow myself a small piece of dark chocolate a day. On the weekends when I am at home I usually forget about it since I’m busy. Sitting at my desk during the week with occassional down time, well, that is when my sweet craving hits.
    .-= Stacy´s last blog ..Summertime… =-.

  10. asithi says:

    I stopped baking! Normally my husband does the grocery shopping. He does not have a sweet tooth so there is no sweets in the house other than chips (he likes salt). Since I have no problem with salt, I usually don’t touch the stuff.

  11. 'Drea says:

    I have a major sweet tooth. As far as chocolate, I downsized by getting chocolate-covered peppermint sticks which gave me a hit of chocolate but not a lot. I’ve just about weaned myself from the choc peppermint too.

    Of course, I eat fruit but that doesn’t satisfy all the time.

    I used to love birthday cake and when we have it at work, the memories alone make me pause but I don’t indulge.

    I do keep a lot of Annie’s Homegrown graham bunnies in stock which are great for satisfying my sweet tooth without doing too much damage.

    Oh yeah, like *asithi,* I stopped baking.
    .-= ‘Drea´s last blog ..Leaning On Each Other =-.

  12. Fran says:

    I have a sweet tooth. We are used to drink tea on Sunday afternoons with sweet biscuits and chocolates and ever since I started my weight loss journey (10 years ago) I haven’t been able to resist it so I’ll take my “loss” and just enjoy it. I do buy dark chocolate these days and have a little piece when I want some chocolate and that helps because I eat less of it.
    When I bake brownies or muffins or pies or make my own dessert I can’t resist it. Eating out isn’t a problem because usually desserts here are boring, almost always with ice cream which I don’t like very much (except if it’s Ben & Jerry’s)

  13. Cynthia (It All Changes) says:

    I have a wicked sweet tooth but my stomach can’t process the sugar. So I had to go off of it completely. Now I make “me safe” treats with agave or honey that I freeze all but one portion so that I have to eat them and actually savour them.

    It helps that I “can’t” eat the regular sweets so that I’m not as tempted.
    .-= Cynthia (It All Changes)´s last blog ..Happy Birthday America- =-.

  14. suzanne says:

    Honestly right now i don’t bring sweet things in the house or if i do i don’t touch them. I’m still at that point that i know if i do i’ll finish them all of and want more.
    .-= suzanne´s last blog ..No cooking today – =-.

  15. tracy says:

    I have “sweet Teeth” lol ~ I tried abstinence, but that just set me up for full-on binges, and like Vickie up above, it goes sweet, then salt, then sweet ~ never ends. Now, I have sweets Daily, but they are the ones that I can have complete control over. I can handle having a couple of those midgie tootsie rolls at lunch (about 25 cals a piece), and then after dinner I almost always have a tootsie roll pop ~ and now they have banana flavor YUM! I think it’s just about learning what works for you.

  16. jenn says:

    I’m sort of “hardcore” when it comes to sweets. For over two and a half years I have avoided all refined sugar products. It has been hard but SO WORTH it b/c I had a MAJOR addiction. I would still love them to eat them but it’s just not worth it to me. The warm fuzzy feeling is just not worth what it does to my body or my head. Just this year I added back natural sweeteners so now I pretty much follow two conditions. If I want cookies or something it must be sweetened with natural sugars. Now (for two years I ate NONE) I also try to only eat homemade desserts so I know exactly what is in it. I’ve tried eating store bought treats that were made with natural sugars twice this year and it messed with me mentally. I just wanted MORE MORE MORE and since I didn’t have to make them I recognized how easy it would be to eat MORE MORE MORE so I decided to stick with my homemade guideline. There are some gray areas though…like lattes or smoothies. Thankfully I’m also cheap so I won’t buy those often enough to be a problem.
    .-= jenn´s last blog ..What shooting a short film taught me about fitness =-.

  17. Dr. J says:

    I’ve heard that Chromium Picolinate can decrease sugar cravings. I know it does balance blood sugar, perhaps it helps. I find ways to sweeten things where I’m satisfied. I use some artificial sweeteners. I’ve found mixing some of the blue with some of the pink gives a very sweet taste. Other than that I just don’t have it. I’ve found that after a while without an addictive substance like sugar or salt for example, you don;t need it anymore. I agree with Jules, by the way, as to eating sweet grapes or watermelon, and find it more than enough.
    .-= Dr. J´s last blog ..Lab Notes- Glucosomine and Placebo Give Same Backpain Results FDA Gives Approval to Telescopic Eye Implant =-.

  18. Leah says:

    Yes, I have a sweet tooth. Sometimes it’s manageable with 10-15 M&Ms or 2 Tbsp. of semi-sweet chocolate chips, other times I don’t handle it well.

    Lately, sugar-free chocolate pudding has been my little evening snack that saves me from eating anything more high-cal.

    Of course, I also allow myself a treat and sometimes that takes the craving away because I filled the need and then went on with my day. I’m getting much better at throwing out the extra when I realize my stomach has had enough. It’s a good feeling. 🙂
    .-= Leah´s last blog ..Plodding Along =-.

  19. Alan says:

    I haven’t conquered “managing” sweets either. Right now, I’m doing “no junk food”. It seems I don’t miss sweets if I just know straight up they are not an option. But I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to have dessert a few times a week and stop there.

    My last eating plan was not eating while reading or watching TV. This ended up being synonymous with not eating alone, which seemed to be very important. I agree that we’d all eat a lot less chocolate if we shared it with the family!
    .-= Alan´s last blog ..How Heath Bell Lost 25 Pounds =-.

  20. John says:

    I’m managing still by avoiding all sweets for the most part. If you took me now and me last year you’d say I didn’t eat sweets now. Foods that are sweet and help me are fruit,gum and granola bars and but nars(made with honey and no sugar).

  21. Kate says:

    You know that posting that pick of the Oreos was just a tiny bit sadistic, right? 🙂

    I have/have had one heck of a sweet tooth, but I find that the less I have, the less I want, and the sweeter natural “sweets” like watermelon and cherries taste to me.

    Keeping sweets out of the house is my greatest ally. No one in the house eats them, so there’s no reason for them to be here. If I really want a sweet of some sort, I plan ahead for it, order or buy only one portion, and resolve not to eat any more for a while.
    .-= Kate´s last blog ..Off to Grandmothers House We Go =-.

  22. Miz says:

    for me it has been about incorporating sweets into my daily life in smaller portions.

    a few hershys kisses spread through out my day is NOT what caused me to gain.

    that was a bag.
    in one sitting
    while I studied 😉

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