If you are trying to lose weight or just make an improvement in your health you need to look at how you relate to food. I used to say to myself, “I’ve been so good today I deserve …” The end of that sentence was usually ice cream (my biggest weakness). Me being good enough for my “reward” could have been, being active, eating healthy the rest of the day, having a stressful work day or any other challenge. The problem with this ritualistic view of reward is that excess sugar is poison for your body. Sugar addiction is said to be more extreme than an addiction to alcohol or tobacco.
Pay attention to your thought process when you are reaching for your next delicious sweet treat. If you do mentally call this a “reward” try thinking about how increasing your risks for diabetes and heart disease could possibly be a reward. If you enjoy the taste of rat poison would you call its consumption a reward or fight the urge to consume knowing what it can do to you? I hope your answer is to F I G H T! You are worth the effort! We all are! We also still need to be able to reward ourselves. What makes you feel good that is not sugar or fat? One friend would say massage another would say going for a walk outside, another watching a movie. I enjoy acupuncture, the sauna, pool, walking outside or curling up on the couch in front of the fire place. Your reward is one you have to decide on. The only restriction is that the reward is not sugar or fat.
Does this mean that you should never eat anything sweet again? Not exactly, but after you decide to change your self-talk the next step is to eliminate it completely for 14 days strait. It took me 4 months before I made an entire 14 days without cheating on myself. After 14 days more than my mind changed. My bodies reaction to sugar changed. I ate 2 bites of a candy bar and became violently ill. The cells in my body realized that this was poison after 14 days of being without it and reacted accordingly. After my body reset, I studied the glycemic index to find just the right fruits so that I was controlling blood sugar spikes. I find personally that if I control my blood sugar I do not eat as many calories, my brain works optimally, and my energy levels are sustainable.
Please do not think that means I never have sweets these days. I definitely slide backwards more often than I would like. It is a life long struggle. The important thing is that I can recognize when I need to do another 14-day reset. If I catch myself early enough in my backslide I can reset in 3-4 days and loose the cravings. That first 14-day reset is extraordinarily difficult and is not for the faint of heart. But it is worth attempting! Remember though that if you give yourself negative mental feedback in the process you won’t get through it. Be proud of every day you succeed and count that as a win!
-References concerning the risks of sugar are coming soon-