It’s Thursday night. I just finished putting my son to bed, and I’m ready to relax with Shane and watch our latest obsession, Game of Thrones (I know, I know, we are late to the game!I think we’re halfway through season 2, so no spoilers, please!)
What’s on my mind? Junk food. I know, that’s taboo, right? My favorite podcaster, Vinnie Tortorich from Fitness Confidential, always says to “put life into living, and do it with enthusiam!”
There is a way to do it. So let’s talk about where you are. What season of life are you in? What are your current goals?
Being self-aware is the key to meeting almost any goal. Seriously! If you have 1 cookie, are you going to go off the deep end and eat the whole box? Or can you eat ONE cheat meal and go back to your regular routine? Do you respond well to tough love, or do you need an accountability partner to hold your hand through your journey and sugar coat things for you?
I know this may seem like a long stretch for just a cookie or a bowl of ice cream, but if you aren’t in control of sweet cravings, they will take over. Shane could care less about sweets. Me? I WISH I could be like him. Once I have a little chocolate in me, I could keep going until the whole bag of M&Ms are gone. That pint of Halo Top with 4 servings? More like 1 delicious serving! I LOOOVEEEE sweets. But they don’t rule me anymore.
Here are some tips I’ve learned over the years to curb my sweet cravings:
- Cut out any and all sweets for 1 month. When sugar is totally out of our system, our taste buds actually change and we lose that craving that seems to overpower us. This includes wine too, ya’ll. Sorry! Cutting out ALL sugars, including wine, most fruits except berries, honey and even salad dressings full of sugar, will be most effective. Once you get through that month, strawberries will seem as sweet as candy, and candy will be overbearingly sweet.
- Go for dark chocolate. 85% and higher is actually considered healthy and encouraged! Make sure it’s the real thing though, not the candy version on the market. 85% used to taste bitter and disgusting when I first started eating it, but now that I’ve cut out milk chocolate, my taste buds have changed and it now tastes sweet and delicious!
- Drink water. Just like if you think you’re hungry, drinking water may actually be what you’re craving! If you drink plenty of water, you may lose that sweet tooth for the moment after all.
- Only buy sweets when you’re out- not keeping them at home. With the exception of the occasional pint of ice cream, I only buy desserts at restaurants, gas stations, etc, one serving at a time. Yes, you may say it’s more expensive, but I don’t have them at home as a temptation! When I buy one serving at a time, I can enjoy my treat and move on.
People always want to go for food hacks. “If I eat 45 M&Ms, I need to run an extra 56 minutes on the treadmill at speed 7, incline 4.” “I want to eat a bowl of ice cream, so I need to eat 3 more vegetables afterwards, or only 30 more calories the rest of the day.”
It just doesn’t work like that. And why would you even want it to? That sounds MISERABLE to me! Yes, I love being healthy. I love putting healthy foods into my body, sweating, and practicing yoga. God says to honor Him with our bodies, but guys, if you want a treat every now and then, just have it. Don’t stress about it, don’t count calories, don’t put in extra time at the gym (unless you’re just bored, but I don’t want to hear about it!) and don’t make yourself miserable over it. Its just one piece of cake. You’re not going to make it a habit, are you? Eat the dang cake, lick the extra icing off the plate (I do, anyways!) and eat your salad tomorrow. Enjoy life!