Is that tantalizing chocolate candy bar over there calling out to you? Does that decadent dessert in the window beckon you? Is that donut saying, “Eat me!”? These are descriptions I often hear from people plagued by sugar addiction. Indeed, folks worldwide often feel that sugary treats are luring them in. Of course, advertisements galore don’t make passing up on sweets any easier, but the sad reality is that sugar addiction or what I call “over attachment” to sweets and simple carbs is an affliction that confronts about half—if not more—of us. While I empathize with this kind of sugar frustration and sugar agony—I’m an ex-sugar addict myself—it really is preposterous to believe that sugary foods have you enslaved or that they have your name on them! Whoa! It's time to squash those desperate sugar desires right now! Here are 4 simple, sure-fire techniques to squash temptation immediately, just as it confronts you.
When sugary foods "call out" to you:
1. Get the Scoop on Why You’re “Hungry.”
Ask yourself if you’re really famished for nutrient-lacking red licorice or hard candies? Of course not! Do you instead really long for love, tenderness, joy, friendship, laughter, sympathy, a good workout, a dose of spirituality, a better job, or improved communication with your significant other? In other words, are you completely malnourished because your heart and soul aren't getting the things you most cherish and need? When I kicked sugar back in 1998, asking myself questions such as these helped me to turn away from sweets time and time again until proudly saying “no” became a wonderful, ingrained habit. So I invite you to become conscious in the moment as to the reason(s) for your so-called "hunger." That powerful knowledge can lead you to better, healthier actions. Or, think of this in another way, as the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (where I studied), suggests. When sweet temptations are about to get the better of you, ask yourself: “Do I want that sugary `treat because I’m hungry or am I really yearning for `primary foods’ such as relationships, exercise, spirituality, etc.?”
2. Get Angry at Your Destructive Habit!
Now it’s time to have some fun. Get furious at your pitiful reliance on sugary and processed carbs. Of course, I'm NOT suggesting that you hate yourself. Just become outraged at your behavior and the fact that you lean on these culprit carbs when you're blue, lonely, moody, etc. Now go ahead—get repulsed by your heinous, potentially health-damaging actions. Become revolted by the fact that you let sweets strip you of your dignity and force you to do demeaning things like digging uneaten candies out of your garbage can. (Sound familiar?) Get livid at just how low you’ve sunk. (I'm not a therapist, but tapping into your fury – as I once did – can have a potent, effective, life-affirming result.)
3. Claim Your Power
Realize that YOU alone are in control—not those stupid desserts. It's entirely up to you what you put into your mouth and stomach. You can consciously make better selections as to what you'll feed yourself and how you'll spend your time. Stand in your own corner. Stick up for yourself. Choose to treat your body and soul with respect, dignity, admiration and even encouragement.
4. Grab Nourishment Instead
Now that you’re armed with valuable insights, gotten angry at your stupid habit and tapped into your inner strength, you can choose something more healthy and fun. How about a strenuous workout instead? Why not get together with a friend and go for a walk in the park? Or maybe you could plan a romantic evening—complete with massage and cute love notes—with your significant other? Begin to make better, more positive, healthier choices. Instead of mindlessly cramming quickie carbs into your mouth, pick activities that nurture and feed your soul. Now go do it! Remember, if you’ve been habitually turning to sweets for solace, at times you may still feel that you’re a hopeless sugar addict. Just remind yourself that sugary foods are NOT calling out to you. You alone have the final say as to whether or not you’ll treat your body like a garbage dumpster or a temple. You alone can politely turn down desserts from your sugar-pushing relatives or insensitive, sugar-addicted friends or loved ones. So delight in taking charge now. Decide that temptation does NOT rule you. Choose to nourish yourself in healthy ways instead. Know in your gut that you can stomp your sugar habit to smithereens. All you need to do is put into action simple tips and tactics such as I’ve outlined to break free from your sugar habit so that you get more energy, better concentration, and maybe even increased libido.
Connie Bennett, C.H.H.C. is the author of SUGAR SHOCK! (Berkley Books). She is a former sugar addict and “Ex-Sugar Shrew, who is now a “Sugar Liberator” and certified holistic health counselor. She has helped thousands of people worldwide to break free of their debilitating sugar habits through her 21-Day, Stop SUGAR SHOCK Countdown Diet™ and other programs. Connie also is an experienced journalist, who has contributed to eDiets.com, The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune and many other media outlets. To get more simple strategies to squash sugar's temptations, grab a sneak peek at Connie’s book SUGAR SHOCK! at www.SugarShock.com.