Quitting sugar is hard and anyone that says it isn’t, is probably a jerk.
I’ve quit sugar, hundreds of times. The problem…it’s addictive and I love it.
So a bit of strategy, self love, and self control are required to get this toxic stuff out of your life. Please know that sugar is one of the biggest contributors to any health problems you’re probably dealing with including weight gain, insomnia, stress and mood swings, chronic fatigue, and it is the instigator for most chronic illnesses including Type II Diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.
By trying to get sugar out of your daily diet, you’re really taking charge over your health both in the long term and right now.
So what do you do when you slip up?
Maybe you at 6 macarons from Whole Foods (STFU, they’re gluten free) or you had one more cocktail than you should have and ask your daughter to drive you to the store for Ben & Jerrys and then proceed to consume the whole pint of dairy free Chunky Monkey. (I’VE NEVER DONE THIS, I’m just saying…)
The point is that you’re human and slip ups happen. Expecting perfection is stupid. There’s a balance to be found when trying to be healthy and admitting that sometimes you’re going to f*ck up.
Here’s what you DON’T do – Don’t throw up your hands and give up. And don’t fall into a shame spiral.
Figure out why you slipped up, make any necessary adjustments to your plan and keep going. You will slip up. Forgive yourself and then continue moving forward.
Plan ahead. Parties, going out with friends, traveling? Do your best. When you’re at a party or when you’re out with friends, you can avoid sugar. You can have cocktails without sugar, coin style margarita anyone!? You can skip dessert and not eat the breadsticks. When you’re traveling, you’ll have to be aware of your options and smart about your decisions. Travel with a water bottle and healthy snacks.
SO no sugar ever?
Um…no. No sugar 99% of the time. It’s okay to have some sugar once in a while. Have some dark chocolate. If you want to have pancakes once in a while, then have pancakes. If you want Ben & jerry’s then have some, occasionally. The important thing to remember is that sugar is an occasional thing, less often than daily, hopefully less often than weekly but only you can decide that for yourself.
Don’t buy sugary foods. Don’t have them in your home. It’s too much. Out of sight, out of mind.
Taste, don’t overindulge. You can have a square or two of dark chocolate. You don’t have to eat the entire bar. You can have a scoop of ice cream, you don’t have to eat the entire pint. A cookie, not a bag of cookies. You get the picture. When you do have something sugary, make it a taste, not a meal.
What about cravings, withdrawal, and other not so pleasant side effects?
If you quit sugar over time, you shouldn’t have withdrawal. If you do, reassess what you’re eating and maybe take a look at your plan. Perhaps you’re moving too quickly or perhaps you have other issues going on. Reach out, I can help you figure it out.
Cravings? Cravings happen for a variety of reasons. Just because your’e craving ice cream doesn’t mean you must listen to that craving and have ice cream. You might, instead, have something with healthy fats and/or protein. Cheese, for example. Also, consider your intake and make sure you’re eating enough calories from vegetables, fruits, and protein.
Sugar is addictive and getting it out of your diet and lifestyle is a process. Own, commit to, and embrace the process. Love yourself. Forgive yourself. You can do both at the same time. YOU are a badass and you have more power over your decisions than you think.