For as long as I can remember I have had a love affair with sugar, mainly chocolate. I remember my parents letting me have a Hershey bar, but only if I ate my dinner. So I would eat my dinner as fast as I could just to get ahold of the chocolate bar. As a kid, I always loved dessert so much more than anything else. Jello with whipped cream, cake, ice cream, candy, pudding, snack cakes, and I can put down a Twinkie. I never met a dessert I didn't like. I think thats really been my downfall. I'm sitting here with an absessed jaw because I have a bad back tooth. You reflect on all of the things you could have done wrong when you're in pain with something like this. What could have made this so bad? Perhaps it was the candy, and soda? Thoughts like, "I'm never eating sugar again!" cross my mind. But the second the pain is gone, I forget my vow. I like fast food, I like chips, I like to eat, but really, I could happily live without most things, but when I think of a life without sweets, I start to panic!!! Live the rest of my life without chocolate, or Twinkies? I can't do it. The best advice I ever got regarding diets is: Don't ever start a diet you can't keep for the rest of your life. Well obviously I'm not giving up a sweet here or there, but what can I do? A few things that helped me are:
1. Portion size--I may not be able to give up sugar forever but I can limit how much I consume
2. Sugar free---I found the sugar free section in the candy aisle at Walmart. There I found things like Russell Stover chocolates that are sugar free. They taste real! They make your brain think, "hey I'm eating chocolate" because after all it is real chocolate, just minus the sugar. The problem is that you have to still watch portions because they still have fat and calories.
3. Find really great healthier sweets--I found several awesome alternatives to snack cakes. Your average snackcake has about 250 calories per serving!!! I found Fiber One brownies that are 90 calories, taste great and have fiber, which lets face it, I'm lacking in. I found 100 calorie snack packs of popular snacks in the cookie section and fruit cups!!! Never thought I'd enjoy a cup of fruit so much, but Del Monte makes these fruit cups like pears with vanilla and spice that have 60 calories!!!!
4. Think differently--Yes I want a snackcake, but, I can fool myself into thinking I don't need them for a long time without thinking I'll never eat them again. Its all in your attitude. I look at my husband's snackcakes sitting on top of the fridge and think, "I really don't have room for those in my calories today, I could have a cup of fruit, a cup of greek yogurt and maybe even a fiberone brownie for that one stupid snack cake. I don't EVER tell myself that I can't eat them ever again, just not right now.
5. Dark chocolate--For those of us who are chocolate freaks who can't possibly live without just a little chocolate, dark chocolate like my personal favorite, Dove dark chocolate bars, is actually good for you. It has antioxidants and less calories and fat than milk chocolate. I use it as a little treat. I eat about 1/3 of a Dove Dark Chocolate bar and feel indulged.
I know I can't live without sweets forever, but I also can't live the way I was forever. I know I have to make a few sacrafices, but plain ol' giving it up would most likely sabotage my efforts.