It’s October ya’ll! That means Ugg boots, pumpkin spice lattes, and Reese’s peanut butter cups! Pretty much every thing about fall just screams sugar, sugar, sugar!!
It’s my personal favorite, but professionally I get a bit sad because I must hear “I’m scared of all the sugar!” at least 20 times a week and that's sad because sugar can be fun! If you're struggling and feel like you need to kick your sugar habit this article is for you.
Are you addicted to sugar?
Instagram might have you tempted to check into a 12-step program for sugar addicts, but let’s just slow down a minute here. Are you really addicted to sugar or have you actually just developed some (really) bad habits around sweets- the actual question is who’s in charge here? Are you in control or do the cookies in your cabinet keep calling your name to the point of distraction? If you’re stressed out just thinking about all the candy, pies, and cookies about to test your resolve then you are not alone!
Let’s begin with the idea of sugar addiction. While it feels vary much like an addiction, a very important distinction is that with practice, strategies, and know-how you can learn how to take back control and enjoy sweet treats while still feeling in control. When I work with clients on breaking free from the addictive, out of control relationship with sugar we focus on a few important concepts. Keep reading to decide if you need to take back control.
3 Steps to Taking Back Control:
1. Learn to enjoy sugar in an enjoyable and healthy way. Over-indulging occasionally doesn’t mean that you have no control, it simply means that you were unprepared. Practice planning out healthy and balanced meals so that you are less tempted to fall for the sirens call of the Reese’s. Take note the next time you over-do it- when and what did you eat last- it might tell an interesting story.
2. Notice how you feel- physically. Often we associate a certain food with a particular emotion- I frequently tell the story of how every year I used to make a cookie recipe that my grandma always made. I would make the cookies, eat the whole batch (sometimes in a couple of days) and almost always end up feeling a little bit sick. I was associating the cookies with my grandmother and the holidays that we spent together and trying to recreate it with the cookies. When I finally tuned in, I realized that I actually felt physically ill when I ate the cookies, yet I ignored that because I was enjoying the memories. Sometimes we eat foods as a replacement for something else- like to fill an emotional need. Be mindful when eating treats- notice how you feel when you eat it.
3. Outsmart sugar cravings. Sweet treats provide quick energy- when you are running on empty your body will naturally look for a way to refill the empty tank. Check in with your sleep, stress, and meal times to see if the sugar craving might actually be a sign that you need to take care of yourself in another way. Much like a toddler will try to keep eating to prolong an afternoon nap, your body will look for any source of energy to keep the party going.
Sugar busting 101
This is such a hot topic every fall that I put together a guide: Improve your relationship with sugar that you can download for free to get started.
Inside the guide I’ll show you how to get started balancing your diet with a few mindfulness strategies that I teach every day- you can even use my 28-day plan to reset your relationship with sugar.
After all this you might be wondering if you really do need to take back control?
If you can relate to any of the following situations then it’s worth taking a look….
You been tempted or have skip meals because you just had a treat or because you know there is one on the horizon
You can’t buy cookies or candy because just knowing it’s there is recipe for disaster
You know where all the candy dishes are in your office and frequently map out your bathroom route to bypass at least one
You feel like having just 1 piece of Halloween candy is never enough
You can calculate how many cookies equals 30 minutes on the treadmill
You can’t remember the last time you went out to eat without ordering dessert
You deserve a night time treat while you watch tv
You feel physical withdrawal when you try to go more than a day without a piece of chocolate
If any or all of these resonate, or if you have your own to add to the list then it’s probably time to work on improving your relationship with sugar.
I promise you that with practice you can be that person who can say “no thank you! I’m good” the next time there are donuts in the break room- with time, you may even come to realize that you don’t even like donuts!
It’s time that you felt confident enough in your relationship with cookies to be able to have a box just sitting in your cabinet, gathering dust waiting for the day when you choose to enjoy one- how amazing would that feel?
Do you want more mindful eating strategies to help you improve your relationship with food? Subscribe to my newsletter for balanced recipes, mindful eating, and slow living lifestyle tips.