So how do you cope when you get those sugar cravings?
If you’ve got a sweet tooth and are addicted to sugar then you know better than anyone just how hard it is to deny yourself a ‘sweet’ treat when that all consuming craving hits.
Sugar has been shown to be more addictive that cocaine in lab tests with rats, so don’t be surprised if you feel the cravings gnawing away at you.
The good news it, you can turn that craving to your advantage.
Say it’s 4pm or 8pm or whenever you get that desperate pang for something sweet... just take a moment, sit quietly, and listen to your mind and body.
It is screaming out for sugar in order to redress the slump you created with your last sweet fix.
Now is the time to focus and realise just why you need to break this cycle.
Is the desire overwhelming?
Is it all encompassing?
Does it feel like it you’d give anything for a handful of sweets/a donut/an icecream/bar of chocolate?
I know the feeling!
We all have those moments, many of us on a daily basis. They’re so common place throughout our days, that we give in to them over and over.
It's just a natural part of our world now where we get a craving and we go and eat something sweet
Sugar is controlling us and many of our decisions without us actually stopping to think about what’s really happening!
The good news is you can use that sensation to your advantage, because the more you crave sugar the more it shows just how bad your addiction is.
Like any addict, the first and most important stage is realising that you are an addict! The most dangerous part of any addiction is denial.
So use those cravings, listen to them, be still for a moment, be mindful, and tell yourself this is not normal.
This is not the normal, healthy me!
It is not normal to be addicted to sugar. Fact.
Remember sugar is not even a food, it has zero nutritional value, and completely empty calories! But it’s definitely addictive.
The sugar propaganda or myth that is peddled to us makes us feel that ‘its ok to crave to sugar’, the adverts make light of ‘us girls being a choc-holics’, they’re either deliciously glossy looking or comedic, making you feel your part of a cosy chocolate/sweet gang.
And of course, those cola adverts we've seen all of our lives tell us what a great time we'll have if we drink that sugar water!
Back to reality
Of course, the reality is very different, so many of us are addicted to sugar, and with that comes some heavy penalties.
Let’s just look at it from a vanity perspective for a moment – sugar categorically causes premature ageing, it can promote acne, and it can make you gain weight.
All of these things can undermine how we feel about ourselves as we go about our day to day lives.
That's not what those advert tell us! Of course, they would claim that in moderation, it's OK to drink the occasional can of fizzy sugar water.
Which it is.
But don't forget, they also know just how addictive it is! And they don't make their millions from people drinking the occasional can...
It's all because it's so addictive
Satisfying those cravings in the heat of the moment is a short lived band-aid. The fall-out from caving in to the craving is negatively far longer lasting.
Yes it momentarily might taste and feel wonderful, but that’s only because you’re scratching the sugar itch and subsequently feeding your addiction.
The satisfied feeling will quickly give way to a guilt and sickly feeling… and feelings of a loss of control.
Its not your fault. This is the cycle of addiction.
Manipulate those cravings and take back control
Take that moment, listen to your body, focus on the feelings and the sensation of that craving, remind yourself that this is a reaction to a chemical that is driving you to doing something you know is bad for your health.
Become a witness of the craving instead of becoming a victim. Ask yourself, is this what you want, every day, for the rest of your life?
Do you want to take control or do you want to be a slave?
You can get over this far quicker than you think, and within days you can begin to control the cravings and within weeks they will be gone forever… remember it takes just 21 days to break a habit.
I know that this is this is easier to write than practice. When that craving hits, it really can be all consuming.
You need to re-frame your thinking, look at the sugary temptation (whatever that may take) ‘see’ it in its crudest form.
A lump of sugar, additives and fat… all ingredients you would never individually consume in that form.
Look at it and see the dimples of cellulite, look at it and see it as a pimple.
Whatever is your counter or anchor to keep you away from it.
It’s also worth trying the following:
Be mindful of the craving, close your eyes briefly if possible, and take a moment to experience what it feels like to be a slave to a sugar addiction. Ask youself - Do I want this for the rest of my life?
Check your watch, and give yourself ten minutes to reconsider eating something sweet. Tell yourself you can have something sweet in just ten minutes.
Has the craving lessened in those ten minutes? If not, see if you can do another ten minutes…
If you can’t control your craving and you succumb, then let that be a lesson too, and use it as another step towards your goal. (Check out my blog post - What If I Fall Off The Wagon.)
If you manage to control your urges and stay away from the sweetstuff, the craving will pass and you have WON!
Congratulations, you are one step closer to being sugar free!
You can do this!
The greatest thing about any addiction is that it can be beaten, and every time you refuse to succumb to the craving, you win.
And every time you win, you get one step closer to becoming free from your addiction, and to becoming a more healthy, energetic, slimmer you!
If you would like to quit sugar for good and regain control of your food choices, you can transform your life with my 21 Day Sugar Detox Program.