7 Things to Think About While Kicking Your Sugar Habit!
Have you ever tried giving up sugar? Maybe you wanted to eat cleaner, lose weight or maybe because you realized it was getting out of control when you found yourself standing in the pantry eating a hand full of dark chocolate chips multiple times throughout the day and the thought of anyone else eating them totally made you mad.
Well I’ve been there! Yes even fitness professionals can fall into the sugar trap from time to time, if we don’t watch out. So how can we KICK our sugar habit once and for all?
Admit that you are addicted to it
Are you tempted to eat a piece of cake or something sweet for breakfast over something healthy? Do you crave an “afternoon treat” or “after dinner snack”? Or
maybe you dig your finger right into a can of frosting without thinking. Or your like me, telling yourself “its dark chocolate so it’s healthy!” Have you ever noticed when you go without those little treats that you get cranky mcspanky? (Yes I made that word up) Maybe you even get angry when you hear anyone talking about eliminating sugar from your diet? If any of these ring a bell, then you might just be an ADICT! Sorry but it’s true…sugar is as addictive as a drug. The more you eat the more your body wants. Good news is the same goes for eating healthy. The healthier you eat the more your body will crave healthy foods. YAY! There is hopeJ
Before you kick the habit you have to know what it is
What are you addicted to and what are you going to eliminate? Sugar is everywhere, even in the meat we buy, so what will you be “quitting” as you start to “kick” your sugar habit? Will you be giving up soda, candy, baked sweets, anything processed and packaged? We call sugar by many names so knowing what will be “off limits” and what you CAN have, will be key.
Out of sight, out of mind. Get it out of the house!
In my challenge groups we like to do a Toss it Tuesday because more than likely if you see it you will eat it! Example…One time my husband bought me a bag of my favorite Resse’s Peanut butter EGGS…yes the special ones that only come out during Easter! But here is the deal, he didn’t buy me one he bought me a bag…from COSTCO! Now that’s just cruel! That bag taunted me every day! As soon as I woke up they were all I could think about. For lunch or dinner I could totally justify eating a few of those and skipping the meal all together…oh man, so bad I know… but the struggle is real people, can you relate? If it wasn’t in my house then I wouldn’t be tempted the way I was, see what I mean, but because it was in the house it consumed my mind. Discipline of the mind will be huge in kicking your habit so remember this when choosing what must go and don’t bring it in your house. Trust me your family will not starve just because you eliminate foods that have too much sugar, I promise.
Start looking for the hidden sugars
Oh the many names of sugar…let us count the ways:
•Sugar (brown sugar, cane sugar, raw sugar, beet sugar, confectioner’s sugar, etc.)
•Syrup (high fructose corn syrup, malt syrup, refiner’s syrup, rice syrup, etc.)
Scientific(sneaky label) Names for Sugar
•(Evaporated) Cane juice
•Rice Malt (extract)
Artificial (Non-Nutritive) Sweeteners
•Sweet ‘n Low
•Hydrogenated Starch Hydrosylate (HSH)
*Knowing your sugar is half the battle, the other half is identifying the types you are willing to live without!
Be realistic and give it some time!
The fact is, we didn’t wake up one day and decided that we were going to start eating sugar so that we could be addicted to it. More than likely it happened slowly, overtime and sometimes without us even realizing it. So stop beating yourself up thinking that you can’t do this because you can. The reality is you may need to take baby steps first. You may want to consider this, if you drink 4 sodas a day then start by cutting down to 3, then 2 until you have completely been able to cut it out. Prepare yourself because it may take weeks to kick your sugar habits and be ready, it’s not going to be easy! It will be like you are detoxing from a drug. Don’t be surprised if you think about it all day, especially in the afternoons, or after a long day. You WILL try to convince yourself that you DESERVE a treat. You may even feel like attacking someone that you see eating a desert right in front of you but have no fear soon you won’t crave it anymore.
Drink lots of water
Years ago I had to kick the habit of having something sweet every night after I put the kids to bed, so I started drinking a full glass of cold water as soon as the cravings hit. I was surprised how much it helped. Drinking water truly does help with cravings plus it will help keep you well hydrated. Add a lemon or lime if you want a little flavor as well. Think of it as a “mini cleanse” or your “secret weapon”.
Plan your treats
I have been there, I tried to cut ALL sugar out of my life for a long period of time and it didn’t work for long. I found myself diving back into it and worse than before. I would almost want to binge on my favorite treats…I know it’s bad but I am sure someone can relate. What I have found that works for me is planning my special treat for once a week. Because I truly believe that quick fixes just don’t last. I highly recommend you consider this, or find a realistic solution that you know you can live with for the rest of your life. So if you don’t plan one a week, maybe it’s a small slice of your favorite pies once a month or during the holidays. Either way really think this one through and commit to it. Also, look for new “treats” I have found berries with unsweetened coconut and almonds to be totally satisfying. Some of my other favorite treats include Dark chocolate (of course), “Kind Bars” and apples with almond butter.