3 Reasons You're Scared to Ditch Desserts?
By Joan Kent, PhD
I'm seeing it more and more often: people who know they eat too much sugar but just don't want to quit.
Here are 3 reasons people seem afraid to eliminate sugary foods from their diets.
Fear #1: Not having a "sugar crutch" when you need it
When the going gets tough, the stressed grab cookies. If you haven't figured out a different stress management strategy, sugar may seem like the only way you can relieve the stress you're facing.
What to Do Instead
Here's one simple option for stress relief.
Breathe. Most people recommend slow, deep breathing, which can be helpful. But my own experience – and accounts by others – have shown me that deep breathing won't always work. In fact, when we're super-stressed, it can be difficult to take slow, deep breaths.
I suggest short, sharp exhalations. Breathe out forcefully enough to make noise – similar to the sound a tennis player might make when hitting a serve. (If you're somewhere where you can't make noise, just breathe out quickly and with power.)
Do 3 sharp exhalations. Stop for a moment and feel the tingles in your body. Do another set of 3. Stop again and feel your body. Do a third set of 3.
By the time you've done that, you'll notice lots of tingling and a significant change in the way you feel. It should then be possible to slow your breathing to a more relaxed rate. If you want to follow with a short meditation, bringing your breathing under control this way will make it work even better.
Fear #2: Going nuts without sugar
Some people are quite aware of what happens to them when they don't eat their usual sugary treats. That's what they worry about when someone suggests they get rid of sugar in their diets.
You may have experienced some of these withdrawal symptoms; they take predictable forms. You might feel edgy and restless. You might be irritable, impatient, or unable to concentrate. You may have cravings for the foods you're trying to eliminate. You might start obsessing about sugary foods. You might keep walking back and forth to the break room or the kitchen.
What to Do Instead
Short-term relief can be simple with a teaspoon of liquid B-complex (the entire B-complex, not just one or two B vitamins). Check with your doctor before you try this to be sure it's okay for you to have these vitamins.
Liquid B-complex is highly effective. It will eliminate cravings and other withdrawal symptoms within minutes and typically prevent their return for up to 24 hours.
The vitamins are water-soluble, so you'll excrete any excess in urine. This is a short-term strategy only. Long-term craving elimination may require food changes.
Fear #3: Never being able to enjoy eating again
It's rough to give up foods we love. It may seem as if nothing will ever take their place. And the foods we use to handle stress, to celebrate, or for comfort and relaxation usually change brain chemistry in a big way.
Any food that changes brain chemistry can promote a strong reaction when we think about ditching it. Let's call that reaction "emotional attachment." Anyone who knows the power those foods have over them knows that the attachment can be quite emotional.
What to Do Instead
Eat healthful fats—nuts, avocados, raw coconut. Choose savory seasonings. Use more salt (sea salt) for a while. If you're concerned about hypertension, be aware that sugar (and the insulin it triggers) can raise blood pressure even more than salt. And you don't have to use extra salt forever, just till you get past sugar's grip.
We don't need sugar to enjoy eating. Many, many non-sugary foods taste absolutely wonderful.
Great news: As you get away from sugar, foods you didn't like before begin to taste good!
Vegetables are a perfect example. Every client of mine who hated vegetables was hooked on sugar big-time. And every one of them changed his/her opinion after quitting sugar.
Getting past cravings and "stress junk" is the feeling of freedom I wish for you. Just visit www.LastResortNutrition.com and request your free Empowered Eating Consult. If you haven't quit sugar because you don't think you can – or you fear you'll fail – please believe me when I say it's easy, it really works, and you can do it. You'll feel great – and great about yourself!
Brought to you by Dr. Joan Kent, best-selling author of Stronger Than Sugar: 7 Simple Steps to Defeat Sugar Addiction, Lift Your Mood, and Transform Your Health.