5 Ways to Combat a Sugar Addiction
I haven't even written one word and I already don't like this post.
Earlier this morning, I asked my team what I should write about for this week's Truth Talk Tuesday. One of them fired back with, "Maybe something food related? I don't know if it's just me, but my
sugar consumption has been HORRID lately."
Ya'll. I was standing there unwrapping a piece of Easter candy as I got that reply.
I mean, come ON.
Here's what I think:
Sugar is the debbil. And it appears as tho, at least in this season of my life, I have an inability to fail small.
I had one piece, you see. And then I had several more. I lost count, but I know it was a few more than a few. And as I type this, all the way in the bedroom a solid 36 steps from my kitchen, I am absolutely thinking about more candy. Specially the little bunnies with caramel inside.
Here's what all the science says:
Sugar CAN be more addictive than any other drug. And, at least for some of us, one's too many and a hundred ain't enough.
Does that mean I should never ever for the rest of my days have even one baby bite of a tiny, delectable, sweetsie-filled bunny egg wrapped up all pretty in pink paper? No.
It means I can try approaching self-control a few different ways:
1. IIFYM. That means, if I can "make room" for a treat every day in both my calories and my macros, cool. The problem for me lately is, I have a small piece of cake and it makes me lose my entire damn mind. I end up eating four pieces, and that many don't fit in nobody's macros. If this happens on a Tuesday, there's a decent chance it will result in, "Eff it" mode, and I'll eat everything in sight until I collapse in a sugar-induced stupor. And it it happens on a Friday...... ah hell. My brain very well may say, "Just eat what you want all weekend and start fresh on Monday." Terrible idea.
2. One "cheat day" per week. This is an old-school, tried and true approach to good eating. Go six days per week eating healthy, whole foods, and then one day a week, have at it. Donuts for breakfast, French toast for lunch and ice cream for dinner if that's your heart's desire. The interesting thing about that is, over time, that much sugar in one setting makes you feel terrible, and I for one am tired of feeling terrible.
3. Going cold-turkey. The thought makes me wanna cry, but that approach has worked wonders for some of the athletes in my gym. They look to low-glycemic fruits to get their "fix", and many have steered clear of refined sugar and junk for months on end. It really does work if you have a true sugar addiction.
4. For those of us who train hard and heavy in the gym, ENOUGH food is super important for helping stave off those cravings. I've found that on days when I get enough healthy protein, fats and carbs, I have far less propensity for binging on junk. Cravings tend to rear their ugly head when I've skimped on cals all day and my body is desperate for fuel. New muscle growth thrives on enough food, and the body will find a way to get what it needs (and more if you're not careful. Sheesh. Greedy little brat, isn't it?)
5. Try to avoid ten day (or fill in the blank day) challenges. I can tell you from observation and experience, they do not work. Day 11 ends up being a free-for-all, largely undoing the "cleanse" of the previous ten days. It's not about depravation. It's about finding a lifestyle that feels satisfying and sustainable.
Bottom line...... when you get sick and tired enough of feeling sick and tired, you'll try something different. Not a one of us is a victim to sugar. Make a plan and then be a do what you say you'll doer. Throw it all in the trash and for the love of God, and don't put it in your cart as you stroll past the baked goods on your way to the organic raspberries.
Decide. And then do.