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Sweet temptation

By Sonia Salfity - May 27,2018 - Last updated at May 27,2018

Photo courtesy of Family Flavours magazine

SUGAR: a simple five-letter-word that spells out CHAOS to my system every time I allow myself to indulge. I wake up every morning telling myself “this is the day I will quit eating any sweets”, only to find myself breaking my promise by sundown! 

The magnetic pull that sugar has on us is nothing to ignore. It is more than a matter of willpower. It is more of an addiction that is very difficult to break. I have discovered that the more I have of it, the more I want sugar. Sometimes it’s best to just stay away from it.

I am not joking when I tell you about sugar addiction. I didn’t think I had a problem as I was doing quite well until I ran into some stressful situations that caused me to reach for comfort foods high in sugar. This is called Emotional Eating and it does serve a purpose as it temporarily takes our minds off of the stressful situation we are trying to avoid thinking about. The problem is that only works for a little while; the sugar ends up giving some of us a migraine on top of the weight gain and other inflammation issues.

You would think that the negative side effects to sugar consumption would stop us from reaching for more, but unfortunately the opposite is true.

Because it’s addictive and like any addiction it’s not easy to break. It takes hard work and persistence to quit this dangerous habit and it’s not going to happen overnight. 

 

10 sugar-fighting tips

 

I now start my day with plenty of water, drinking two glasses before I head out to work. Staying hydrated helps cut my sugar cravings, especially if I squeeze some lemon into my water.

I avoid buying sweets in the first place. The supermarket is my first line of defence. I know that once that sugar enters my home territory, I’ve lost that battle! Better to leave those temptations on the grocery shelf!

I satisfy my sweet tooth with fresh fruit that is packed with nutrients that benefit my body.

If I indulge in sweets, I opt for the lighter varieties that have zero corn syrup and no artificial sweeteners.

There’s no reason I need to eat an entire cake! A tiny sliver satisfies me. So I abide by the three bite rule and then put my fork down. Nothing tastes better than the first three bites anyway, so why bother eating the rest when you can save those calories! I walk it off or dance it off! When I consume something sweet I get moving so that I can start burning, instead of storing those empty calories. 

Whatever I do, I don’t quit. Even when it’s not my best day and I can’t resist staying away from sugary sweets. I make sure to give myself credit for the positive things I did instead of just focusing on the negative aspects.

We were invited to a dinner feast and I wasn’t supposed to touch the 20 things on the dessert table, but I broke down and let myself have the one item I really wanted. It was a very tiny piece and I sat down and enjoyed it, and I was proud that I didn’t do what I did last year when I loaded my dessert plate with every selection offered. So as far as I’m concerned, that’s 100 per cent improvement in my book!

Instead of dreaming of sweets at my events, I focus on the sweet conversations I want to have and let the highlight be the social aspect to take my mind off food. Talking to people costs zero calories! And if you’re worried that you won’t find any sweet people to talk to, then you can just call it a “Sweet & Sour” event and just add the sweetness yourself! I have some fun with it and try to get to know people better by asking questions and really be interested in what’s going on in their lives. That keeps my mind off the dessert table. Just think, you get to decide between listening to your neighbour’s latest drama or gain another kilo eating that kunafeh!

I keep making myself accountable. I don’t let myself off the hook. I’m only cheating myself if I sneak sugar, I sip on herbal tea to help me through the winter blues instead of reaching for the sweets. Especially on the days when I seek comfort, there’s nothing more relaxing than a hot cup of camomile tea as I curl up with my favourite book.

 

 

Reprinted with permission from Family Flavours magazine

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