One of the worst things I ever did to my body (and my health) in the past was eat a whole wackload of sugar. Of course, back then, I was a bit niave and didn’t really realize the consequences it had on me. Here is what I wouldn’t think twice of eating in the past:
-sugary cakes, such as muffins, cheesecake, breads,etc. for any meal
-soda and sugary fruit juices
-refined pasta and grains
-loads of white sugar in tea and coffee
I’ve drastically reduced this, and feel much better for it. I’ve stopped eating processed sugar altogether, and avoid any sauces that have added, and stopped drinking juice (you wouldn’t believe how much sugar they add in ALL their drinks in China!).
Of course, I’m not giving up everything with sugar in it, such as wine and natural sugars in fruit, but I know in order for me to keep my health in check like I have been, I have to stop eating sugar that is refined. Though, taking refined flour out of my diet is going to take more than a few weeks, as I really enjoy dumplings at this little cafe I frequent and they use white flour for their dumpling skins. I will admit however, it is really hard sometimes to pass by sweet shops and not get tempted, especially if there is good quality mango sorbet, tee hee.
I’ve found some ways that have helped me give into temptation:
1) Avoid foods that are too salty/spicy – I always crave sweet drinks if I go for Korean food (for example), so not eating foods like that helps me want less sugar
2) Stop drinking coffee/black tea – I used to have milk and sugar with that, and I find myself still justifying that one pack of sugar is not so bad. I stick with herbal teas or green tea with a bit of honey if I want something sweet.
3) Keep a bag of seeds or unsalted nuts on hand – If I’m hungry, I make silly choices and go for the first thing I see in the convenience store. That way, if something is around my desk and I can eat it right way, it will stop me from making a poor choice.
4) Don’t look at food I cannot have – I pass my this sorbet store all the time, but once I figured out that if I look straight ahead and not look at my favourite flavour, I thought less about it, which means I crave it less.
5) Remind myself of why I am doing this in the first place – My eczema symptoms flare up, or my energy levels dip, or I get moody. I don’t want that happening anymore!
6) Don’t see it as giving up something, but as a step to gaining something, like my health – When I had to stop eating certain goods due to allergies, I was quite upset because I kept thinking I was giving something up. If I continue to think this way, of course I’d want to rebel from it and eat what I shouldn’t.
7) Don’t be too hard on myself if I cheat every once in a while – Once a month I do give myself a treat (I had chocolate mousse at a five star hotel and it was glorious!), but of course it should be a treat of quality, so I don’t continue craving something sweet after said cheat item is eaten.
8) Keep track whenever I eat sugar – I surprise myself at how much I cheat if I don’t hold myself accountable. I remember when I started reducing my intake of sugar, I actually ate more! Having a list in front of me every once in a while does put things into perspective.