Most of us like sweets. Since childhood, we are simply used to the fact that sweets are treated as not only tasty foods, but also as our reward. Do you remember your mom's “well done – take a sweet”, or chocolate, or lollipop, but not an apple or a pear? It sounds strange, doesn’t it? Back then, our parents knew that sweets were harmful for our teeth.
Two key reasons why we like sweets:
1. Our body chemistry. Our body is designed so that even the look of sweet and highly caloric foods excites more pleasure centers in the brain than dietetic culinary delights. Scientists from the University of Southern California carried out research with the help of pictures in Instagram and identified this dependence.
2. Our psychology. And again our parent’s “Well done – take a sweet” is often multiplied by the “do not eat sweets – or the jeans won’t fit.” This encouragement is mixed with the feeling of guilt. The forbidden fruit is sweet, isn’t it? In this case in the most literal sense.
Already dietarians have been saying for decades that sugar is “carbohydrate addictive”. It is literally “dependence”, as a refusal of sweets causes “break-ups”: headache, mood swings, lack of energy and even depression.
Try to give up sugar intake from your diet for a short time and keep watching your feelings; in the best scenario you will simply feel sadness.
Why is it so?
Because we get used to getting the glucose that our brain requires and that gives us energy from sweets and so we think that only sweets contain it.
But this is far from the truth! It doesn’t matter where the brain gets glucose, which is contained in whole grains products: cereals, rice, pasta, bread.
Then why do we need sugar? No answer. Only to spoil our body by changing its proportions for the worse.
How to reduce and then eliminate sugar entirely?
Start with these eight steps:
1. Have breakfast.
A lack of food in the morning creates a hunger that we will want to satisfy as quickly as possible in the midday. And sweets provide an immediate, though a short-term feeling of fullness.
Probably, you have no desire to eat in the morning, especially if you ate well in the evening or if you are an “night owl”. Then do this: eat something light after awaking (a glass of buttermilk at least) and have proper breakfast an hour later.
Nutrition Journal studies have shown that people that consumed at least 350 calories and 13 grams of protein for breakfast lost weight faster than those who refused to eat it entirely.
2.Mix useful and harmful sweets at first.
Do you want chocolate cookies? Take a plate of sweet strawberries and some cookies. You will feel sweet even after giving up chocolate. You have tricked yourself in favor of healthy habits.
3. Find out why you eat exactly that.
Have you noticed that sometimes your hand reaches for the chips, although in fact you do not want them? Keep track of these moments and write them in your phone or just in memory. In a few days you will be surprised to realize that you “eat away” your headache with chips and anger with your boss with chocolate. Now there is a reason that you can understand! And it does not require any chips or chocolate.
4. Get rid of the guilt.
Probably, this is the worst plague for those who refuse sweets. According to the Appetite Journal research, people associating sweets with holidays leave them behind more easily than those who are blaming themselves for each eaten piece.
How does it work? It is very simple. You feel a sense of guilt and self-contempt. These emotions are negative and you naturally want to ignore them, to distract yourself. You are distracted by eating sweets! Such is simple psychology.
5. Find a hobby.
According to research, 3 minutes of playing Tetris, for example, will reduce the desire to eat sweets better than walking around the cookie jar, keeping yourself back only with the force of will. By the way, it is even better to go and take a walk for 15-20 minutes – another good habit.
6. Do not buy sweets home.
You won’t run at 3 am to the store for cookies. But if cookies are in sight, you will likely take some. If your family insists to have sweets at home, you can, at least, hide them in the cupboard and put out a plate of apples, not candies.
7. Do not keep dieting!
You do not have the task of giving up all sweets at once. Don't get rattled! You can always eat a candy or two. Instead of thinking about the forbidden sweets “I must not eat chocolate”, think about what you are allowed, namely, “I can eat a handful of strawberries and cherries! I will still look great” or something like that (think of your mantra!).
8. Select one day a week to have all the sweets!
It will be easier to avoid eating sugar during the week and, as a result, feeling guilt. As an example, eat sweets for lunch in the morning after a hearty and healthy breakfast.
The key point in this issue is to launch the mechanism. Of course, you can give up on everything cold turkey, which is also a way. But as our practice with program participants shows – that is a real stress. Thus, we recommend to reduce the “dose” gradually and our assistants do all the best to support, motivate and find replacers for favorite sweets. Slowly but surely, we are learning how to live without sugar, in order to look better than yesterday and be healthy!
Be slim and healthy!