Two weeks ago we spoke about why you shouldn’t always be looking to replace your favorite foods with sugar free options. For some of you, though, it’s not simple enough to say “I’m going to stop eating so much sugar” as sugar is so addictive and helps many people get through their afternoon hump or is their go-to after a long stressful day.
Why is this? Sugar creates a surge of energy and feel-good brain chemicals. Like a drug, your body craves that initial high more and more.
How can you work towards eating less?
Start by looking for patterns. A lot of people tend to have certain times of day when they crave it more. Maybe it’s at 2 in the afternoon as you’re starting to need a pick me up or maybe it’s at night when you’re sitting in front of the TV. Whatever it may be, you must first understand when it’s happening to understand the underlying cause.
- If you NEED sugar or an unhealthy snack to get your through your afternoon, chances are you’re either not eating regularly enough or you’re not eating enough nutrients. Be sure to eat every 2-3 hours and aim to eat 1-2 serving of vegetables at every meal. This will help make sure your blood sugar stays stable throughout the day and you never have that feeling of ‘I need to eat NOW’ which often leads to making poor food choices.
- If you tend to eat large amounts of snack foods during times of mindless activity (watching tv, driving in the car etc) part of the culprit could be boredom. Try looking to other ways to keep occupy your time. If you have a long commute and like to snack on your drive, bring a portioned snack with you. If you don’t want the almonds you packed, you’re probably not actually hungry.
- If you have no particular trigger be sure to have some ideas in mind to occupy your time during a craving. Maybe go outside to take a short walk, read a book, or even a bath. You must create new habits to replace the old ones!
- Don’t expect it to happen right away. You probably didn’t develop the habit overnight so don’t expect to replace it over night. Habits are hard to break! You will get better every day.