So, I’d like to talk for a moment about the sweet/salty cycle of doom. (One more time for emphasis: OF DOOM)

kitten in circle

This kitten gif makes the whole thing look adorable, but that’s only because this is a (mostly) PG-13 blog and I don’t want to scare the kids in the audience. In all actuality the sweet/salty cycle of doom is anything but cute.

It. Is. Horrifying.

You know what I’m referring to, right? If you don’t know what I mean, prepare to feel amazed, confused and perhaps a twinge of pity. The sweet/salty cycle of doom goes a little something like this:

It’s a regular day or night just like any other and you’re in the mood for something sweet. Maybe you reach for a piece of chocolate, a handful of cereal, maybe some sorbet, aka something relatively innocent. That should be enough to quell the craving, right?

Wrong. Just as you’re finishing the last bite, a salt craving pops up out of absolutely nowhere and with the persistence of a tantruming toddler, it simply refuses to be ignored.


So you say to yourself, “Welp, no big deal I’ll just have some popcorn or this slice of leftover pizza and then I’m done.”

BUT THEN after you eat that, all you want is something sweet again. At this point you still have a sense of humor about the situation and you’re like: “Ha ha ha, Self, considering this is turning into a meal, I might as well have some dessert but then I’m done. For real.”

whipped cream

Guess what? Yup, that plan falls to sh*t faster than an antacid dissolving in soda and you are far from done. That sweet thing you just ate was a little too sweet and now you need something salty to neutralize your taste buds. More everything!

eat all the food

At this point you’re functioning somewhere along the boundary of insanity and you have just put both a potato chip and some ice cream on the same spoon to get the sweet/salty thing in one mouthful. (That’s not just me, right?) Proud of your ingenuity, you then open up the freezer to put the ice cream away once and for all when you suddenly realize- “By golly, that was delicious. ONE MORE BITE!” Yeah… one more pint, and you’ve eaten enough to rival the catering menu at a child’s birthday party.

cher horowitz

The old sweet/salty cycle of doom hath stricken again. When it finally does subside and the crumbs settle, there’s usually a lot of panting, a little fear mixed with relief and above all, a lot of questions. Questions like: what just happened? Was this emotional? Was it physiological? Was I lacking nutrients? Was that bag of chips full before I finished it off?

But, hey, you know what- these things happen to the best of us.

ladies am i right

The best thing you can do is not let it affect the rest of your day/night/week. If you do it in the afternoon, don’t binge again at night thinking you already ruined the day. Don’t blow off your workout, don’t feel bad about yourself, don’t let this derail you from your healthy eating track for the rest of the week. In other words, don’t make it worse by continuing to punish yourself for it afterwards.

Look at this way – if you skip one meal in a week, are you going to lose weight if you otherwise continue to eat like you normally do? NOPE. Similarly, one crazy binge will not make you gain weight if you continue to eat normally.

It’s all about perspective.


(PS. truth talk- if you’re truly stuck in this cycle, talk to someone about it. A therapist or overeaters anonymous can help you take back control if you’re struggling.)


10 Thoughts on “The Sweet/Salty Cycle of DOOM

  1. Chelsea on April 9, 2013 at 12:54 pm said:

    Man, that’s the truth. And sometimes putting a stop to it can be even harder than resisting the initial binge, you know? But that sweet-salty is the WORST: I’m a culprit of the “just one more bite…I mean bag…” variety. You hit the nail on the head man

    PS: I LOVE Chris Traeger. :)

    • Charlotte on April 9, 2013 at 1:29 pm said:

      I love chris traeger too. he needs to make more frequent appearances in this blog. And YES- stopping is way harder than resisting the urge in the first place. totally agree.

      • Chelsea on April 9, 2013 at 1:33 pm said:

        this blog, and all blogs.

        Sometimes I feel like it doesn’t even matter WHAT I start with. It’s like, I don’t know, a rage blackout but with food – I start with a freaking celery stick and then I’m literally pouring a sleeve of Oreos down my throat and Diet Coke-ing them to oblivion.

  2. Truth. I am always like “oh, a few pretzels after work would be nice.” That then turns into, I’m going to eat the entire bag of pretzels when they are coated in Nutella! Bahh!! All in moderation, right? One day a month won’t kill me :)

  3. That made for a great laugh! I seriously struggle with this and I know exactly what you are talking about! I can especially relate to the toddler tantrum persistence! Thanks for sharing! All this time I thought for some reason I was the only one of earth that had the salty/sweet cycle issue!

    • Charlotte on April 10, 2013 at 6:03 pm said:

      I’m so glad you liked it! You’re def not the only one with the sweet/salty issue, I know it all too well:)

  4. Omg, hilarious post!! I think we’ve all had out “moments.” Lol!

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