A common factor amongst people that are trying to engage in a healthier lifestyle is that they really miss sweet food. And by sweet food, I don’t mean a lovely and healthy apple or banana. No, I mean the processed bad guys such as candy, coca-cola, cake, and all that not-so good but oh-so good stuff.
And it is definitely a big deal. Sugar is a simple carbohydrate, and very important for a healthy and well functioning human body. Again, the type of sugar most people think of is not the type of sugar needed for a healthy body. Avoid added sugars such as high fructose corn syrup that are typically found in processed junk food. Try and focus more on eating foods that naturally contain sugar, such as fruits and whole grains. I will definitely do a follow up post in the future all about the different types of sugar and what foods to avoid, and what foods to stock up on! For now, I just want to focus on helping you to kick your sweet tooth habit!
The inspiration for this post actually came from a good friend of mine who is known for her love of sweet treats! It got me thinking how most people, myself included, have a sweet tooth and how it can really be a killer for people who want to tone up and lose some weight. The following are some tips that have worked for me, and I hope they work for you too.
How to kick your sweet tooth
1. The first and MOST IMPORTANT thing in my mind, is to understand why you want to stop eating/eat less sweet things. It can be for any reason – to lose weight, be healthier, whatever. Just choose a solid reason that is important for you so that you can always remind yourself WHY you want to kick your sweet tooth.
2. Transition slowly and don’t expect any big changes overnight. If you have spent 10+ years of your life you cannot expect to kick the habit straightaway. I am not saying it will take you another 10+ years to kick your sweet tooth, but it does take time. Be realistic.
3. Start incorporating more fruits with a low GI into your diet (click here for more on GI – glycemic index). Fruits taste wonderful and have natural sugars, which is a great way to satisfy a sweet tooth. My personal fave dessert is either Fage 0% Greek Yogurt mixed with half a cup of frozen blueberries mixed together, or just plain old medjool dates (but go easy on dates as they have a lot of calories).
4. Start incorporating more wholesome food (like fresh veggies) into your diet in general. Fiber-rich foods are great for curbing your sweet tooth because they keep you satisfied and fuller for longer. A guaranteed way to realize just how sweet most processed foods are is to eat fiber rich crackers such as Ryvita or Wasa for a week. Seriously, they make you realize how much added sugar and other cr*p is in most processed food.
5. Buy an aspartame free gym like Pur Gum and keep it handy for when you have sugar cravings. Just chew some gum whenever you feel the need to indulge in something sugary. If you can’t find gum, then just keep your eyes peeled for gum without aspartame as an ingredient.
6. Really do your research and find some great new recipes to try. Look up some clean eating dinners (The Gracious Pantry is a personal favorite) and some sugar free desserts (will be posting some of my favorite sugar free desserts in future posts, so stay tuned)! Start making these and transitioning towards a healthier and more wholesome lifestyle. And do not give me that ‘I do not have time’ excuse – YOU DO! Get up at 6AM and meal prep if you must (by this I mean make a huge batch of a particular recipe and then put them in tupperware and put them in the fridge or freeze them). Most of the recipes I make literally take just 30 minutes.
7. Exercise! If you have time, go for a quick run or do a free pilates video from Blogilates whenever you feel the urge to eat something sugary. It is a great distraction and healthy for you too.
8. Be accountable. You can do this by telling your friends and family that you want to try and eat less sugary foods so that they can check in with you and see how your journey is going. I have found that having someone saying ‘NO, do not do this’ is not neccessarily helpful. But having a support system who will help motivate you works wonders 🙂
9. Get a like minded buddy and both commit to slowly decreasing sugary foods. Text, tweet, Facebook each other to keep each other motivated and uplifted.
10. Go back to tip #1 and repeat your reason to kick the sweet tooth habit 🙂
I hope this helps you all! Like I said, it is not an easy thing to do, and god knows I have times where I just NEED an ice-cream, but if you do then go ahead. Balance is key, and depriving yourself and being overly strict will back fire on you. Instead of having a Magnum ice-cream bar though, try and get an organic ice-cream from your local ice cream shop (which will be more likely to use high quality ingredients).
Good luck and let me know if this has helped you 🙂