If you had to take a guess, you probably would assume that I’m not a fan of artificial sweeteners, but you might be surprised to learn that there was a time in my life when I relied on them heavily!
Many people assume that breaking your dependence on most things is just a matter of willpower, right?
Tired of feeling fat? GO TO THE GYM!
Tired of cellulite? GO TO THE GYM!
Disgusted with your muffin top? GO TO THE GYM!
Gaining weight? GO TO THE GYM!
Eating like crap? GO TO THE GYM!
But working out is only ONE FACTOR.
Sure, it SOUNDS easy…and there are a lot of well-intentioned people who think it IS easy…but how often do you feel like you’re a failure because you’re still struggling?
While many of us may start out with good intentions, it’s easy to feel defeated when you aren’t making progress.
Having struggled myself, first with an unhealthy relationship with processed snacks, and then with a dependence on artificial sweeteners, I know that sometimes it takes more than desire and willpower to change.
Although reducing your sugar intake naturally–that is, without a reliance on artificial sweeteners–is the ideal way to transition, if it were as easy, everyone would be doing it!
Sugar, as you know, is not exactly health food. In fact, the National Institute of Health (NIH) recommends that daily sugar consumption be kept to under 25g of added sugar* (a Snicker Bar has 27g of sugar) per day.
Added sugar is readily found in processed and artificial foods. Foods such as meats, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables are not “processed” and therefore contain no added sugars. Other “natural sweeteners” such as honey, brown sugar, and stevia are also “processed”, so if you’re trying to break unhealthy dependence on sugar, you might want to include them too.
Don’t fool yourself though, HOMEMADE brownies from scratch using “Organic” ingredients aren’t “healthy” for you either! (Darn it)!
You CAN decrease your sugar cravings and your dependence upon them, but it can be a long process of slowly adjusting your taste buds to less and less added sugar.
Decreasing your dependence on sugary foods or artificial sweeteners is a struggle for many people! Reducing your sugar intake requires that you implement strategies, so you naturally re-train your palate and start enjoying the taste of real food that isn’t overly sweet. Doing so is not only healthier for you, it can also reduce your reliance on the use of artificial sweeteners.
10 Simple Ways To Kick The Sugar Habit:
- Remove products with artificial or added sugar from your pantry (if this means throwing out half your food, consider buying less and less each time you go to the store).
- Do you struggle with willpower once you’re in the grocery store? Make a list and stick to it!
- Shop the perimeter of your store. MOST of the foods in the center aisles are filled with sugar or artificial sweeteners. Want to learn more about hidden sugars in your foods? Read this post!
- Don’t shop when you’re hungry–pair an ounce of your favorite nuts with a piece of string cheese or your favorite piece of fruit about 20-30 minutes before you go shopping.
- Having strong cravings? Drink hot tea, warm water with lemon, or eat a snack high in protein and high in fiber, such as yogurt or cottage cheese with berries, almonds, and string cheese, homemade hummus with celery.
- Brush your teeth
- Eat protein at every meal. If you’re craving something sweet, get something to drink first. Often times “cravings” are often signs of hunger. If your craving does not pass, eating a snack high in protein can help diminish your cravings.
- Eat CHOCOLATE (what?!) I was just seeing if you were paying attention! But if you really want something to satisfy that sweet tooth and nothing else will do, eat chocolate! When choosing what to get, however, choose wisely and buy dark chocolate that is 85% Cacao or higher. Pair with a cup of herbal tea, decaffeinated coffee, or even half a glass of red wine. *Eating the whole bar, however, is not recommended! 😀
- Are you an abstainer or a moderator? Some of us are all or nothing kind of people. When it comes to most sweets, I do better if there are none in the house (out of sight is truly out of mind). Think about where you fall on the spectrum. If that sleeve of Oreos is going to be calling your name, do yourself a favor and don’t bring them home and tell yourself you’ll only eat one or two. That is the very definition of self-sabotage. If eating a single square of chocolate is a trigger for eating the entire BAR or more, don’t bring trigger foods into the home.
- Allow yourself the occasional indulgence OUTSIDE of your home. We don’t typically keep sweets in our house since resisting the temptation is more difficult for us with it sitting RIGHT THERE! We don’t dine out often, but when we do, we’ll occasionally order dessert. The caveats? We always share and what we don’t eat stays there! Despite the fact that I’m an “abstainer”, this method seems to work for me and not feeling deprived actually helps me stay on track.
Remember that change takes time. Willpower alone isn’t enough. In order to change your body, you have to change your habits and behaviors, one step at a time.
Founder and Creator of Fitness MOMents® LLC
Hi! I’m Trish Marmo and I believe every woman possesses the power to be the best version of herself and become the woman she always dreamed she could be! If you’ve woken up to the fact that what you’ve been doing isn’t working anymore, or you don’t recognize the person you’ve become, then let’s talk! Schedule a Complimentary Breakthrough Session or learn more.