Is sugar addiction making your weight creep in the wrong direction? Does it slow down a weight loss plan you’re on, or is it even making it a complete joke?
Here’s the way I have weaned myself off sugar… Actually several ways. It was a multi-step process.
First of all, for some of us (and maybe many of us), sugar is addictive. Period. You eat it, you want more. That’s what it’s been like for me.
Sooo, hard as it may seem, the easiest way to get off that roller coaster is quitting cold turkey. But you knew that and you didn’t want to read THAT here, so I’m not going to stop there.
The reason why sugar needs to go is because it triggers addiction. But there’s no need to quit sweet stuff right there.
Here’s what I did instead… I experimented with “sugar-free” goodies. In moderate doses.
Now how would this help? First of all, the selection isn’t quite as big as that of sugar-containing sweets, so temptation is reduced a bit. Just make a real commitment to forego actual sugar and it becomes surprisingly easy. You know you can still indulge, after all, just not then and there (unless you came prepared, which I actually recommend).
Secondly, most of these sugar-free goodies don’t quite trigger the physiological addiction the way sugar does. For me anyway, I was able to stop at a couple of candies when they were sugar-free, while sugar would have triggered the vicious cycle of eating more of it, and eating it more frequently too.
This is different for different sugar substitutes though, so you may want to experiment. Stevia is by far the best, and you may want to go easy or avoid Nutrasweet. Also, try to reduce the sweetness gradually when you have control, for example in coffee or tea. Learn to like it without.
Third, depending on which sweetener you picked, you may find that you don’t WANT to eat more than a small portion because eating too much leads to major gastro-intestinal distress. What kind? Gas, bloating, and the runs, depending on how much you eat. Who needs that? So you eat just a little… That’s what’s called “self-limiting” in medicine, and it works for sugar addiction as well.
So far so good. You may find that you still don’t make as much progress in your weight loss efforts as you’d like. And there might be a reason related to the sweet stuff.
So here’s another step: Once you’ve weaned yourself off the sugar addiction, cut down on the sugar-free goodies too. In fact, all but eliminate them.
How does that help? I came across this very cool diet (can’t remember book title right now, but will add that if it comes back to me, and if you recognize it, please add it in the comments section).
Anyway, this plan talked about how sweet stuff signals to our bodies that it’s time to fatten up for winter. Uh-oh! Not the message we want to send.
For me, that piece of information just about killed any desire for sugar, and finally, my weight is slowly moving into the direction I want it to move… down! Yippie.
And it wasn’t hard. I had been off sugar for years at that point, but was still liberally ingesting the artificially sweetened stuff. No more.
One occasional cup of spiced hot cocoa (which isn’t all that sweet actually), and sugar-free chocolate on only very rare occasions (and I go for the dark kind, which is less sweet too. Then some fruit. That’s it. And it wasn’t that hard.
So if sugar addiction is getting you down, try this two-step plan. Get off sugar and wean yourself with the sugar-free stuff (in small doses), and eventually face those out too.
If the going gets challenging, just think “Fatten up for winter? No thanks!”
Have a fabulous and sugar-free day!
P.S.: If you’re interested in one of my FREE exploratory coaching sessions, just send me an email at coaching AT myfavoriteselfhelpstuff.com and I’ll get back to you to arrange it.