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Apr 10, 2011

Lesson: Sugar Addiction and Finding the Right "Treat" Alternative

Today's Lesson:
During the holidays many people have fallen prey to their sugar addictions and some bad habits that they allowed back into their life. The problem with eating any sugar is that it is addicting for most people. If we could just stop eating it and be done with it - we wouldn't have a weight problem. What we forget once we start to eat it - is why we stopped eating it in the first place. We think " a little won't hurt" or "I haven't had any in such a long time - what is the big deal?". But a few days later when all we can think about is that chocolate in the cabinet or we feel compelled to go down the cookie or candy aisle in the grocery store to find a "treat" - that is when we remember why we stopped eating sugar in the first place.

The best tip is to avoid sugar in the first place. Look at food labels and if the sugar grams are higher than the protein grams - you know you are entering a danger zone. If you are, in fact, looking for a "controllable" treat, look for sugar less than 7-8g per serving (just no artificial sweeteners!). If you have a occasional chocolate cravings - look for the 70-90% dark chocolate bars. They have less sugar. This way the sugar doesn't take a strong hold and compell you to eat more than you intended. Also try to eat protein with your "sweet". Have a dab of natural peanut butter with it. Then you will be full from one serving and be done with it. You also don't want to find yourself wanting to eat this "treat" every night or afternoon. It should be a once in a while thing. If you find yourself addicted - drink a glass of lemon water (one entire fresh lemon in a glass of water) each day. This will get normalize the acid environment in your system and help relieve the cravings for more salt and sugar. See my article (above link) on lemon water and its benefits. Also - throw away the remaining contents of your "addiction" and vow never to eat or buy it again. It is not serving you well and is not helping you toward your goals.

The other tactic is to treat yourself in a different manner. Many link food with a reward but you can change that association any time you want. What else do you consider a reward? Doing your nails, a hot bath, time alone watching a TV program you want to watch or buying a new CD? Cut the positive association with food and you will find that weight loss and weight maintenance will be much easier.

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