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Old 01-23-2005, 02:52 PM   #1
Paul Theodorescu
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Is there anyway to eliminate a sweet tooth or is it really genetically hardwired?

As a child until maybe 3 years ago I almost literally ate nothing but bread and junkfood. Now I've cut the carbs way down (whole grain bread and pasta occasionally) and I don't eat any junk food except post workout if I see it lying around. I consume a fair bit of artificial sweeteners.

I know, I know...I should ditch the artificial sweeteners. However, when I do that, I no longer feel like drinking green tea, eating sour cherries, smoothies, etc.

I tried going without sugar and sugar replacements... what happened is I started eating like 15 fruits a day (bananas, dates, peaches, etc.)

Some people claim going to raw foods or going into ketosis is the trick. Has either of those been scientifically validated? I've fasted for a few days before and the urge for sweets is even greater.

Any way out or shall I just live with the annoying temptations?
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Old 01-23-2005, 03:41 PM   #2
Dan Silver
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My personal, non-nutritionist, opinion is probably going to be debunked shortly after this but... How bad is your sweet tooth? Does everything you eat either have to contain refined sucrose or a chemical sweetener? I like sweets too and I still, usually, have a fruit smoothie on a daily basis. Yesterday I had a little ice cream (gasp!) and alcohol is a pretty daily occurance. Despite this, I still have really low body-fat and feel pretty healthy. Sugar may not be great for you but neither is drinking tap water and I'm still gonna do that.

Why take all the joy out of life? I imagine we have sweet taste buds for a reason. I'm of the opinion that moderation is probably a better idea then going "cold turkey." If you quit eating sweets, you'll probably miss them a whole lot. I'd just try to reduce the sugar intake and therefor reduce the "annoying temptations."

-D.
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Old 01-23-2005, 05:15 PM   #3
Ross Hunt
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I don't think I would enjoy not eating any high-Insulin Index foods. That's fine; I just put them post-workout. Helps recovery.
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Old 01-23-2005, 07:08 PM   #4
Paul Theodorescu
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Hi Dan,

The sweet tooth isn't that bad for me. I'm pretty lean and I eat clean the vast majority of the time. I rarely "cave in" but I could, at any point in time, gulp down entire cakes or liters of ice cream. I derive pleasure from eating sweets, but, unfortunately an equal amount of displeasure from restraining myself. If I had the choice, I think I'd rather not have the temptation at all since I rarely get to satisfy it.
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Old 01-23-2005, 08:16 PM   #5
Scott Kustes
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Paul, I don't have a scientific answer to this, but I can say that for me, it went away. After months of eating clean over summer and fall, I could still pack in sweets if they were around, but I didn't crave them if I didn't see them....out of sight, out of mind. I rejuvenated my sweet tooth over Christmas break while at home, but I've been calming it back down since I got back to school. I think it's just a matter of sticking it out till your cravings subside.
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Old 01-24-2005, 08:48 AM   #6
Ben Kaminski
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If you want something sweet, try brushing your teeth!
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Old 01-24-2005, 09:28 AM   #7
Graham Hayes
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I'm gonna take a different approach to giving advice on this. I'm going to say carry on as normal it won't make much difference. Seriously Paul, I eat biscuits and chocolate and on occasion more tasty desserts and I've never been able to say 'whoa! those bon bon's I ate this morning are slowing me right down.'.

Now, obviously cleaning up your diet is a good thing and will only mean good things for your performance. But just as your performance will improve in baby steps; so you should improve your diet in baby steps. Try rationing yourself sweets, I can't remember who posted it, but someone suggested getting little plastic bags and putting the portions in that so you don't overeat, what a great idea! Overtime you can lower the amount of junk you eat, and by then you'll be glad you did because the junk would mean the difference between a sub 4min Fran and a sub 5min Fran.
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Old 01-24-2005, 10:04 AM   #8
Ben Kaminski
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I would like to respond to Graham by saying that there are times when I say the exact phrase quoted above, that I notice sometimes food I have eaten is slowing me down. When I get done with a Zone meal, I feel like I am ready to start a WOD. There is no period where I feel lazy or sedated or tired. However, if I eat a "normal" meal with bread and desert, there is a 30 minute period of time afterwards where my body doesn't want to do anything active. I'm sure all of you can notice it too sometimes. Try eating sugar for breakfast, or eat a big desert with dinner, or a lot of bread with lunch. Those foods slow me down for sure. I still love Starbursts after a tumbling session, though!

Respectfully,

Ben
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Old 01-24-2005, 10:35 AM   #9
Graham Hayes
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I agree Ben, that eating high carb meals will slow you down, but since Paul indicates he eats pretty cleanly and occasionally eats rubbish in the form of snacks (even if somewhat excessive), I think the performance drop would be insignificant. And I don't think that sternly cutting junk out of his diet will improve his performance much more rapidly than with it in. But with it in he get's the psychological benefits of satisfying his urges. Also from reading the WOD comments Paul's getting pretty fit but he's still got some way to go before he needs to start worrying about getting an edge.

I guess what I mean is my above post isn't a one size fits all kind of thing.
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Old 01-24-2005, 10:49 AM   #10
Beth Moscov
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HI,

I don't have references on this cause I studied it so long ago that it is just part of my knowledge. Humans are hard wired to like sweet things. Breastmilk is sweet. It is critical that an infant will eat it in abundance or die (before the days of formula). Our natural sweet tooth, however, has gotten distorted by the incredibly sweet foods available to us. Other research shows that kids who have never have sugar, find fruit and vegetables to be what satisfies their sweet tooth. They also don't tend to over eat sweet foods. However, once they have artificially sweet foods (sugar added, grains stripped of their fiber and nutrients) they start craving more and more sweet foods. In my mind, it seems that we take a healthy craving and turn it into an addiction by the sheer amount of sugar available in our diets. I agree with Ben and Graham that I can feel a difference when I overeat sweet foods. On the other hand, I can't totally cut them out or I feel deprived emotionally. So, I now only eat the highest quality sweets I can and try to do so less then once a week.

Beth
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