Bingeing on sweets and how to stop?

A letter from a patient 3.1.17

I read your site with great interest, but I am quite confused. I am 70 yrs old, had a triple heart bypass in 2010, I am on aspirin,atorvastatin and ramipril.
I am a binge eater, and unfortunately binge out on sweets.
I have had a lot of help from the NHS but

they don’t really approve of low carb diets

They feel that if I don’t have enough carbs then I am liable to binge eat. I am determined to try and cut out the sweets and reduce the carbs, but I was surprised to see steaks, burgers suggested eating.
I thought these foods were not to be recommended. I have sweeteners in my tea, is that as bad as sugar? Any advice gratefully received.
Tom

Dear Tom

All doctors would agree that if you managed to stop eating sugar that would be a good thing

If you managed to do that you would be on a lower carb diet. That would also be a good thing- no doctor would disagree with this simple version of a low carb diet as sugar contains no nutrients.
It is not easy to give up. Sugar is an addictive substance. You can cut it down gradually, you can set a quit day and cut it out. You can keep on stopping and giving up till it becomes a permanent thing. Most people find it very difficult and you have indicated you have a problem with binge eating.
You might like to read Jeff Cyr’s story https://zerocarbzen.com/2015/09/16/how-a-high-fat-ketogenic-diet-saved-my-life-by-jeff-cyr/
Jeff found he could control his eating if he mostly ate meat and fish and a few veg( which are carbs, but not the addictive sort) It is a life choice that many people chose. The zerocarb zen people eat meat and drink water. They find it easier to do than eating any carbs. Doctors may disapprove of this but the zerocarb zen people do not care. They take their chance with their lower weight, less medication, less food addiction and better quality of life. They take responsibility for their own health. I am not saying you should do that, but I am saying you have a choice about what you do.
In answer to your questions, burgers made with pure meat and steaks are ok in moderation eg 3-4 oz per meal. Sweeteners prolong your addiction to “sweet”. The more you make savoury substitutes for sweet foods and drinks the quicker you will be on the path to a lower sugar life. You could also reduce the sweetness gradually over time, by having less and less sweetener. That way you reset what I call your sweet-o-meter.
If you are nervous about a classic low carb diet, consider that we have a cardiologist on our board www.phcuk.org , and that docs all round the world do it without fear. If you do not want to do the full thing, finding a way to give up sugar would be the best way forward. Hypnosis, cold turkey, savoury substitutions? Whatever you feel would work best for you just give it a go. Don’t give up on giving up! Once you have given up for 7-8 weeks you will feel free.
I used to work for www.iquitsugar.com. They have an 8 week programme on line to get you off sugar- give them a look perhaps… there is a lot of online support
All the best.
Dr Jo