Why take this challenge?
If you want to lose weight, get better blood sugars, reduce inflammation, feel better or get more energy AND you know you are eating too many sweets, this challenge is for you!
You can approach this challenge 1 of 2 ways:
- Eliminate: Sugar can be addicting and how you approach cutting your sweets intake depends on what you feel works best for you. Some people need to cut out all sweets for a few weeks until they no longer have cravings.
- Reduce and substitute: Others can cut back on how much and how often they eat sweets or substitute fresh fruit for their sweets. There is no right or wrong approach. If you feel you need a little each day and can manage to eat small portions that can work.
First take a few minutes to identify the times you find know you are likely to grab sweets such as candy, candy bars, cookies, etc.
- Donuts, muffins, or other sweets for breakfast
- Dessert after meals
- Morning snack
- Afternoon snack
- Evening time while watching TV
- When I stop for gas station/convenience store
- Drive thru on the way home from work
- At my workspace, break room or in my desk
- Vending machine on my break at work
- When I am stressed or bored
- On vacation
- At family gatherings
- Social or sporting events
- When I make sweets for my family or grandchildren
- When I get cravings
Now – if you need some ideas on how to eat less sweets, try any or all these changes:
- Switch WHAT you eat from sweets to fresh fruit. The sugar in fresh fruit is not harmful to your body like processed sugar is because it contains fiber, water and disease fighting nutrients. Write out a plan and weekly grocery shopping list and have the fruit ready to grab and eat. For example, if you buy melons, make sure you cut it up once you are home and have it ready to grab for a quick snack.
- Switch WHERE you eat sweets to NOT AT HOME. Keep sweets out of your reach and out of the house, unless it’s something healthier that you can portion control to one small serving daily, such as dark chocolate.
- Switch WHEN or HOW OFTEN you eat sweets. If you feel you really need to something sweet, set some simple rules for yourself such as:
- You have to make them yourself. No packaged sweets from the store.
- Choose one day of the week to make a small dessert or go out for ice cream.
- Avoid the temptation of candy bars by staying out of the convenience store and paying for your gas at the pump.
- No eating while watching TV unless it’s portion-controlled popcorn for movie night. Make the kitchen/dining room table the only eating area for meals and snacks.
- Allow yourself a small dessert at social events or special occasions.
- Change the way you think about portions. Practice thinking yourself: “tiny portions.” When you consistently eat much smaller portions than usual, your stomach will shrink, you will get full quicker, and your blood sugars will improve because your body can manage small amounts of carbohydrate much easier than large portions.
To increase your chance of success, get your family or spouse or a friend to take this challenge with you.
One of the most difficult things about trying to cut back on sweets is staying on track if friends and family are not supporting your efforts. It can be difficult to resist sweets if another family member is demanding to have sweets around or is bringing them in the house.
Before you start have a conversation with family members about what you are trying to accomplish and how they might help – if they are willing to support you.
If you are struggling and would like the help of a coach, contact Karen to schedule call.