Saying no to sweets is difficult for anyone, especially during the holidays or other stressful times. But there’s a difference between feeling a little guilty and feeling like you can’t control yourself.
Fortunately, there are some tried and true methods that have helped countless numbers of people like yourself to finally get a handle on their addiction to sugar and sweets once and for all! Read on to learn how!
1. Stop keeping it in the house!
A smoker can’t quit smoking if he or she always has cigarettes in their pocket, and you probably won’t get over your sugar addiction if you always have sweets in the house.
Don’t use the excuse that they’re for the kids or your spouse or anyone else; it’s probably better for them if they cut out sugar from their diet as well! If sugar is nowhere to be found, it makes it much more difficult to indulge at a moment’s notice, so keep it out of the grocery basket to keep it out of your system.
2. Get busy after eating
If you find your sugar cravings kick in after eating, get into the habit of getting busy immediately after putting down your fork. Rather than lingering at the table, start washing the dishes and cleaning up, or go for a walk, pick up a book, or spend time on your favorite hobby.
Taking your mind off food and quickly switching gears after eating can help calm that craving and your habit of having a sugary treat or dessert after every meal. Before you know it, you’ll start your post-eating activity without even considering a sweet treat!
3. Fill up on protein
Protein is amazing at keeping you feeling full, as the body takes a longer time to digest protein than other foods. If you fill up on lean protein sources liked chicken or turkey at every meal, you won’t feel the usual hunger pangs that cause you to load up on dessert.
If you need more protein but are trying to cut down on meat consumption, opt for nuts, beans and legumes, dairy, dark leafy greens, and broccoli, as these are all high in protein content.
4. Watch for hidden sugar
Unfortunately many people overlook hidden sources of sugar in their diet. Even supposedly healthy foods like salad dressing and crackers may be loaded with sugar, which is often added to enhance their flavor.
Read labels and check for anything ending in “ose,” as this often means a type of sugar; sucrose, dextrose, and fructose are common sugars found in packaged foods. Avoid products with these in the ingredients or at least ensure they’re not at the top of the ingredients list.
5. Have smaller meals throughout the day
Sometimes you crave sugar because you don’t have enough blood glucose, or sugar in the bloodstream, for energy. Your body will then create a craving in order to force you to eat something sugary.
To combat this, have smaller meals but spread them out throughout the day, so you never go more than two or three hours without eating. This keeps your blood sugar levels healthy and stable, and calms those cravings.
To avoid packing on the pounds, make the meals smalls or snack-sized; a few pieces of cheese, a hardboiled egg, a small salad with vinegar and oil for dressing, some slices of turkey or chicken lunchmeat, or some raw vegetables can be enough to keep you satisfied.
6. Recognize sugar as a coping mechanism
Sugar releases endorphins, those “feel good” chemicals in the brain that make you feel calm and relaxed. This is why you may always reach for sugary treats when you’re stressed and anxious.
Be honest with yourself and think about the feelings you’ve felt before binging on sweets. Next, make a list of healthy ways to cope with that stress. Exercising, going on an active date, or anything that keeps you distracted and busy is great.
If you’re still having trouble and finding other activities isn’t helping, talking to a counselor may help you get to the true root of your problem.
I hope this has given you some ideas on how to handle this problem that has challenged so many of us. Good luck, and make sure to pin this in case you need a refresher before you next treat-filled event! 🙂