There’s a saying that goes something like “nothing tastes better than skinny feels.”
The person who came up with that saying clearly never had a fudge brownie. Or a Boston Creme pie. Or a Starbucks pumpkin loaf.
Sugar-sweetend treats taste GOOD. Many of us find ourselves struggling to resist these treats, even when we know they aren’t doing our waistlines any favors.
Not only does too much sugar lead to weight gain, it also feeds the desire for more sugar, setting up a vicious cycle.
The best way to avoid this cycle is to avoid sugar as much as possible.
But how we can be expected to kick sugar to the curb … forever??
I don’t believe you have to avoid sugar forever to lose weight, keep it off and be healthy. But I do believe you need to eat less sugar overall, and the best way to do that is by cutting it out (or at least cutting way back) for a period of time so you can break that addiction.
Step one: Remove.
The first step in getting out of any bad relationship (and let’s face it, sugar can be sweet but it isn’t really the best boyfriend) is to kick it to the curb – cold turkey.
When it comes to serious sugar addiction this is best done as a clean break. If you are the person who cannot stop at one cookie or thinks all day about that donut in the break room, there is no moderation for you. It’s time to cut. it. out.
Remove sugary foods from your diet and start reading labels. Go through the pantry and toss those items with more than 5 to 7 grams of sugar.
Say bye-bye. At least for now.
Step two: Reframe.
You know what happens immediately when you tell yourself you are NOT ALLOWED to have sugar any more? Your desire for it DOUBLES. This is a scientifically proven Jedi mind trick.
Tell yourself you can’t have something and you automatically want it.
This is why re-framing is so important. Decide not that you can’t have sugar, but that you don’t want sugar. You are choosing to cut it from your healthy diet because of it’s negative affects.
Do some research on the harmful affects of sugar. Watch a documentary on the obesity crises. This will help reinforce the belief that sugar is not something you want in your life because you want to be healthy and fit.
It’s not being forced on you. It is a choice you are making. You are free to have sugar at any time. However, you don’t want to because your goals and health are more important.
Step three: Replace
Although you’re choosing to give up sugar, you’re going to miss it. And what I want you to know is, sugar does not have to leave your life forever. You can have sugar – you just need to replace the sources of that sugar.
Once you’ve successfully eliminated the processed and added sugars, the white sugars like candy and sweets, start replacing them. Make homemade treats with natural sugar sources like honey and maple syrup.
Go for a little dark chocolate instead of a candy bar. Load up on nature’s candy like berries, bananas, pineapples and so on.
You’d be amazed at how sweet a sweet potato can taste once you’ve removed the white and processed sugars from your diet long enough for your taste buds to appreciate natural sugars again.
The second piece of this final step is replacing the role sugar plays in our lives when it comes to emotion and celebration. Since we were a year old we have celebrated birthdays and milestones with cake. As kids we learned to soothe our sorrows with cookies or a bowl of ice cream.
Sugar gives our pleasure center an instant rush, so it is no wonder we often turn to it any time we feel negative emotions.
In order to quit sugar, you’ve got to end this co-dependent relationship. Sugar doesn’t make you happy or fulfilled. It doesn’t fix a broken heart or bruised ego.
Find other ways to lift your sprits or celebrate achievements. Go dancing, spend time with friends, take a walk outdoors.
Sugar needs to be replaced as your shoulder to cry on.
So there you have it! 3 ways to quit sugar:
- remove it from your diet,
- reframe this as a choice and not something you HAVE to do, and
- replace it with healthier sources and mood-boosting activities.
A little sugar is absolutely ok in a healthy diet. No one needs to avoid sugar forever. But if you’re struggling to lose weight sugar is maybe your Number One Enemy.
Once you’ve gotten to a place where sugar has less of a physical and emotional hold on you, it can still make appearances in your diet without damaging your waistline or your health.