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I am a sugar addict.

Friday, August 16, 2013

This may not be news to you.

I'm now more active in some fitness/health facebook groups. Someone was asking how to get rid of cravings, so I lent my advice to the group as I've struggled with it during points of my journey. (You may remember the Oreo incident or last Halloween.)

This is some of the advice I gave to the group. I hope that it is something that will help with someone's cravings and how I got past my own.

There are several ways to get past cravings.

First off, create a healthy home environment.
Do not bring home the things that you know will cause cravings. No Oreos for me. When it's not easily accessible, it's harder to have. The kids do not need sugary items anyhow.
Do have appropriate sweets in the house. Fruit and yogurt work well as a substitute to the candy and cookies.

Plan for work temptations. If you know there are daily donuts, bring your own treats. If you know there's a vending machine, forget to bring change.

Processed treats are created to make you crave more. They put a certain amount of sugar, processed flour and msg in them (msg can be labeled as different forms which all act the same way) to make you hungrier. There is a reason the producers are chemists and not cooks.

When you're in the middle of a craving, wait 5 minutes. Most often it will go away. If you're still hanging on to that craving ask yourself a few questions, Am I bored? Am I in an extreme emotion? Am I actually hungry?

If you're emotional (this can be either happy or sad emotions), try writing about it. You may come to find out what your trigger is for your usual craving. Do you eat to fill a void or are you eating "because you deserve it"?

For both emotions or boredom, find a different thing to do. Perhaps you need to meditate or go for a walk? Maybe knitting is what gets you both busy and working on your thoughts. I know when I'm extra angry or frustrated, a long walk works, and surprisingly, they tend to be my fastest walks too. One time it took more than 2 miles before I settled down. When your hands are busy with something else, you can't possibly be shoving the sweets into your mouth as easily.

If you think you're hungry, grab a drink of water. Wait 5 more minutes. If you're still hungry, have a balanced snack. If you're truly hungry then a salad with fruit or turkey will fill you better than a candy bar. No, Snickers does not satisfy.

I do not believe in no-calorie sweeteners. If it's artificial, it's not good for the body. Even Stevia has been processed so badly it's artificial. I had someone argue this with me, but it is so new to this market, it has no long-term studies done to it and I'm not a guinea pig. Some artificial sweeteners are banned in some countries because they can cause cancer at a higher rate than those who don't use it.

I do believe in treats. I have a parfait every morning. Mine only has frozen fruits, more often mixed berries, but other fruits if I feel like it, and organic vanilla yogurt. Yes, my flavored yogurt has sugar, I'm okay with that. Reach for fruit more often than candy.

If I really want some other treat, I'm likely to make it myself, but I will also have a single-serve candy bar when I'm out occasionally. I slow down and savor it. One small bite at a time. I do not inhale my candy like I used to.

Remember that it isn't a treat if it's happening all the time. It won't taste as good when it's all the time. Anticipation is part of the joy of a good treat.

It actually isn't as fun when it's ongoing, I got depressed when I couldn't stop eating the Halloween candy and had to go out and buy more. I felt helpless when the Oreos disappeared quickly. I was angry at myself for eating thousands of calories in one sitting. Yes, I would growl at my family if they tried to take my "treat". That is not the person I want to be.

When you are having a really hard time, cut yourself off from your sugar completely for a week. It will be hard to do. You will have withdrawals. You will gain more energy at the end of the week and not have as many cravings once it's out of your system. Fruit is fine during this time, but Twix is not.

I am a sugar addict. If I start having candy, it will have the domino effect and I'll want more. I lose control around it. It's not good for me. I choose not to bring it home because I know I won't control myself around it. My kids don't need sugar, they need nutrition. There is no good excuse for having the candy (and "fruit snacks" are candy too!) in the home.

Today's Holidays: National Men's Grooming Day, National Airborne Day, National Tell a Joke Day, Bratwurst Day and National Rum Day.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • BRENDA_G50
    Ok, I confess, I'm a chocolate-holic and I can't find a 12-step program to help me stop!!! BUT, the only chocolate I eat now days is in the Atkins protein bars. emoticon

    Thanks for sharing the good advice on how to control our cravings. It was very informative. emoticon
    1674 days ago
    Excellent advice.
    My sweet treat is chocolate. I try to stay away from it generally but then I have a subscription with Hotel Chocolat. I get a box of chocs delivered quarterly. They're really good but we allow ourselves just one per evening (not every evening). That way we enjoy them for longer.
    1674 days ago
    Excellent advice...Keep up the good work!
    1675 days ago
  • FRAN0426
    I'm with you, if it is there, I can't resist eating the goodies. I have been limiting what comes into the house, and that has been going pretty well. I allow myself usually a treat on Saturday night and sometimes on Wednesday night.
    1675 days ago
  • ACRAIG921
    Oreo's are my downfall. My hubby was just talking about going to get some today. I told him absolutely not. I can kill the entire package by myself. I've been so good about skipping the cookie aisle all together when I grocery shop. I also don't drink soda. There is a bottle of diet pepsi (my fave) in my fridge right now and I have no desire to have any of it. It's been probably about 18 months that I've drank soda on a regular basis. It is one of the best things that I have done for myself.
    1675 days ago
    I try not to have temptation in the house. I can treat myself to just one, but my husband can not. We find it is better to go out and buy a scoop of ice cream as a treat instead of buying the big container of ice cream. Although it costs more for the single scoop, when we have a container in the house, it gets eaten so fast that it ends up costing us more. Not to mention all the extra calories we have eaten!
    1675 days ago
    Wonderful and solid advice...

    1675 days ago
  • KAREN608
    Once when I was a clerk at a dime store, about 10 years ago, two teenage girls came in and bought and shared a mini MINI square of candy bar... I still am in shock from this. Self control at such a young age! Amazing. It is best if I just stay away from chocolate for the most part. I agree, fruit is a great thing for a sweet treat.
    1675 days ago
    emoticon We all have our own problem foods. Mine is salty snacks especially cheese curls.
    1675 days ago
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