It’s 3:00 pm, and you are seriously craving sweets.
But you promised yourself that you wouldn’t eat sugar anymore. And ever since you made that commitment, sweets are all you can think about. The pull is so great that you can’t concentrate, so you cave. You eat it anyway, and as you eat it, you tell yourself “it’s just this once; tomorrow will be different.”
But it’s not just this once. You’ve been telling this to yourself for quite some time now: the sugar cravings are now controlling your behavior.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
You intend to quit sugar, but for some reason you still eat it. The trouble is, you’ve been relying on willpower and you’re discovering that willpower alone doesn’t work in the long term. Your motivation must be powerful enough to overcome any desire to eat sugar, and you need a way to curb the chemical side of sugar cravings.
I’m quitting sugar because ___________ says I should. How would you fill in the blank? Why does that other person say that you should quit eating sugar? Here are some examples:
These motivations originate from other people telling you that you need to quit eating sugar, and if this is your motivation, you are more likely to fail.
The driving force must come from you if you are to succeed at this.
For example: I need to quit eating sugar, because…
But what if their reasoning is solid? Isn’t that good enough? Yes, however, you need to tweak the motivation so that it comes from you.
For example: I need to quit eating sugar because….
See how this is different? To make this work effectively, your tweak needs to come from you, and it needs to be powerful enough to overcome temptation when it arises. Once your motivation is clear, you need to have a plan that will help you on the chemical side of things.
Toss out the “all-or-nothing” mentality—it doesn’t work. Doing it in stages is the most effective way to quit without having uncontrollable sugar cravings.
At first, you need to stop eating most forms of sugar, but you need an emergency sweet that will work for you when you get a craving. This sweet should not send your blood sugar as haywire as with sugar. If your ideal diet does not include the items in stage 1, you can tweak it in stage 2, once you have control of your cravings.
This will eliminate a lot of the problem foods, yet allow for some indulgences that you can purchase at a health food store.
When will you be ready for stage 2? You’ll begin to feel in control of your food intake and your cravings, and this level of control may surprise you. Once you’re in control, you’re ready to tweak it, if you wish. (Or, you can just stay with it like this. It’s up to you!)
Clearly draw the line so that there is no doubt of what you will eat and and what you will not:
Will you allow…
Once you have your ideal in mind, write down what forms of sugar you will allow yourself to eat on an ideal day. Now, tweak stage 1, and you’re golden!
Readers: What do you plan to eliminate at stage 2? Hold yourself accountable here by posting a comment below!
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