I will admit, I love sweets, ice cream, creamy desserts, special holiday cookies or cakes. I’d rather pass on all my carbs in my meals and just have a dessert or sweet treat.
But, in all honesty, I’ve learned a lot about my body and sweets or sugars. One, I’m highly sensitive to sweets. My blood sugar goes super high, then super low, leading me from anxious to zombie. Not cool, when you want to have the energy and focus to do productive and fun activities.
This is something I’ve learned through conscious and mindful eating, attention to my body and its responses, and have the curiosity to try not having them to see how I fare, which is well.
Beyond the blood sugar, sweet negatively affect me in other ways as well. They hold me back from losing those could of nagging pounds that I hold on my thighs and waist. They create brain fog and mental fatigue. They limit my full ability to workout because their energy spike is so short lived that by the time I am ready to get in a good workout I’m so tired I want to skip it.
So, what has worked? I try to encourage those I work with not to deprive themselves and eliminate forever favorite foods as it may lead to binging or feelings of deprivation. But some cases warrant a bit tougher approach. Yet, ‘tough’ is in the eyes of the beholder. There are ways to bypass and make avoiding sweets less difficult and more pleasurable. And those ways are just what has helped me not feel deprived or craving.
Here are some of the things to do and consider:
– Keep healthy complex carbs in small amounts in your diet. You may need 1 bite, you may need a full serving (not just a portion). Some complex carbs your body does better with than others. These foods include sweet potatoes, potatoes (not fried), oats, quinoa, whole grains, gluten free grains, brown rice, low sweet fruits (berries and citrus, kiwi too). The ones my body likes best cycle, right now rice is ok, my quinoa and corn pasta, and citrus are my go tos)
– Prioritize non starchy veggies and lean protein. If you’re getting ample of these your cravings and hunger are more easily tamed. Non starchy veggies (nsv) are green, or other colorful veggies, leafy greens, etc. lean proteins can be meat, poultry, fish, seafood, organic yogurt and dairy (if your stomach is ok), eggs, egg whites, etc.
– hydrate. Water, unsweet tea, seltzer water. These tame hunger, cravings and energy as well. Also prevent brain fog
– Make foods with FLAVOR! I hate bland, plain, or boring food. If my tastebuds aren’t satisfied, I’ll go looking for more, usually dessert. Use condiments, spices, seasonings,
– Plan when and what you want to have as a treat 1-2 times a week. Adjust the what, when, and how often based on your progress towards your goals and unique metabolism.
– Avoid cutting way down on carbs and calories drastically. Especially when you’re active. This will backfire. Be strategic in incorporating them. Around workout/post workout,
– When you do eat them, be extra conscious and mindful. Enjoy to the fullest without deprivation.
– Try the 2-3 bite method. The first couple bites are the best, you also find out by then if you really like the food or if your tastebuds are bored or satisfied.