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7 Tips to Squash Your Sugar Cravings This Holiday Season

Posted Dec 18 2008 8:14pm

Worried about the holiday season and the plethora of culinary delights that might land in your mouth and stomach?

Fretting that you'll end up 5 to 10 pounds heavier a month or two from now, after all the parties and family get-togethers?

Wondering how to deal with all those well-meaning, dessert-pushing friends and colleagues?

Lately, I've been besieged by worrisome remarks such as these from folks, who want to make this holiday season sweeter simply by staying away from sweets.

They confide that they're overcome with the urge to splurge on holiday candy, cookies, and cakes – and then hate themselves afterwards for caving into their cravings.

Are you one of the millions who suffer in this manner?

For example, do you pop by the drug store for paper goods but always leave with junk food, too?

Or, do you feel like an incurable sugar addict with zero will power -- especially when confronted with platters of glitter-covered cookies and multi-colored candies?

Take heart.

Even during this food-focused Thanksgiving-to-New Year's time frame, you can quit -- or at least cut back on -- those tantalizing desserts and processed, “much-like-sugar carbs” such as brown-sugar-covered sweet potatoes and other sugary specialties.

Trust me, being vigilant during this holiday season could be quite rewarding.

Back in 1998, after I cut out sweets because of my hypoglycemia, all of my low-blood sugar symptoms completely disappeared, including my ferocious headaches, unexpected mood swings, debilitating “brain fog," severe PMS and heart palpitations. Amazingly, all 44 ailments disappeared! I do not exaggerate! After kicking sweets, I felt reborn!

Just knowing how much better I feel now -- it's a night-and-day-difference -- is what will keep me from plunging into a sugary hell again! There's no way you'll catch me slipping spoonfuls of pumpkin pie into my mouth. No way! It's not worth it!

Because I know the value of sugarfree joy, I'm now on a mission to help you, too, break free of your habit. I know that spurning inferior sweets and quickie carbs could turn your life around!

Please think about this now, before you start celebrating Thanksgiving with family and/friends. Just because the holidays are here doesn't mean you have to toss all your good intentions aside.

After all, "desserts" is "stressed" spelled backwards. Something to think about, eh?

Besides, you could benefit tremendoulsy if you're hypoglycemic, diabetic, overweight -- or if you're just wanting more energy, better concentration and improved relationships.

Here’s the non-sugar-coated scoop. If you continue to over-indulge in these nutrient-lacking foods you could:

• Pack on the pounds
• Sap your energy
• Become unfocused
• Undergo Jekyll-Hyde personality transformations
• Jeopardize your love life, and
• Possibly develop hypoglycemia, insulin resistance or diabetes.

If, instead, you choose quality, fiber-filled carbs, you could:

• Peel off excess weight
• Increase your energy
• Concentrate better
• Boost your moods
• Maybe rev up your libido, and
• Possibly reverse your pre-diabetes

Pretty promising, eh?

Here, then, are 7 tried-and-true tips and tactics to help you “just say no” to quickie carbs and get you through the holiday season:

1. Adjust your mindset – and pronto!

Before you can begin to make better dietary decisions, you need to totally change your thoughts. Toss away such negative views as: “Oh, boo hoo, I don’t want to quit or cut back on sweets, especially during the holidays!” Instead, dwell on positive ideas like this: “Wow, I’ll feel so great by kicking quickie carbs.” Now fill your mind with pleasant, powerful images. Visualize yourself easily turning down low-quality carbs and becoming a happier, healthier, sweeter you. See yourself in charge instead of enslaved.

2.  Watch yourself like a lab rat and do Sugary Soul Searching ™.

Begin to face your truth. One way is to keep a food/feelings journal. Jot down what drives you to simple carbs, when you clamor for them, where you eat them, why you want them, and how you get them (i.e., do you stealthily drive across town in the middle of night to buy a carton of ice cream because you need it?) Journaling can be potent preparation for stomping out your sugar habit! If you don't want to write about what's going on, at least thoughtfully mull things over alone or with others (such as friends, family members, therapists, or my free, online KickSugar support group ).

3. Power up with PFF.

By this I mean, pump up the protein (such as fish, chicken, tofu, legumes and lean meats), fill up with fiber (vegetables, fruits and whole grains), and embrace healthy fats (olive oil, flax seeds, avocado, etc.) – consuming them all in moderation, of course. These three dietary changes alone can help moderate your blood sugar levels, take the edge off your appetite, keep you feel satisfied longer, and provide needed nourishment.

4. Relish the goodies provided by Mother Nature.

Learn to savor the flavor of fresh, natural, wholesome, colorful, nutritious, preferably organic vegetables and low-sugar fruits. Next time you yearn for something sweet, enjoy a few tasty cherry tomatoes, a chunk of red pepper, or several fresh strawberries. Yum! (Nibble on some protein at the same time to keep your blood sugar stable.)

5. Begin with breakfast.

Always start your day with a healthy meal – you know, something like a veggie-filled omelet with a piece of orange or a small bowl of slow-cooking oatmeal. Many research studies show that breakfast eaters concentrate and perform better. If you skip that vital first meal of the day, you’re setting yourself up for overwhelming sugar cravings. (Many nutritionists and physicians I interviewed often emphasized the benefits of breakfast.)

6. Develop a kick-butt attitude.

Abandon that woe-is-me stance! Tap into your inner strength instead. Even if you’re furious with yourself for having eaten nutrient-poor foods for so long, use that anger to reinforce your “I-can-do-it” attitude. Because you can! Now go for it and trust in your ability to succeed.

7. When tempted, delay!

This is a simple, effortless, and darn effective technique -- and one of my favorites. Anyone of any age can cultivate the art of delaying -- even your kids. All you have to do is promise yourself to hold off eating those sweets for a brief period of time! You can start with five minutes and then just delay over and over again, even for hours! (Just think, the next morning you'll be so relieved that you didn't cave into your cravings!) The simple act of delaying lets your cravings subside, allows you to detach from your impulses and to zero in on what you're really craving. When confronted with those holiday "goodies," ask yourself: "Does my body really need those candy canes, that piece of pumpkin pie or those ginger cookies?" Of course, you know the answer! Wouldn't your amazing body rather have water, fresh vegetables and fruits, high-quality protein and healthy fats? Why not shove some hefty does of pride into your being rather than pasta into your mouth?

Remember, you can Enjoy a Sweeter Life Without Refined Sweets.™

Connie Bennett is an experienced journalist and an expert/coach to help you kick your sugar habit. She is author of the book SUGAR SHOCK! (upcoming), for which she interviewed more than 250 recognized physicians, nutritionists, researchers and health advocates.Visit and speak out at her lively, provocativeSugarShockBlog.com. Make sure to get your free report, “Sly Hidden Sugars,” and your free e-zine at StopSugarShock.com.

You may freely reproduce or distribute this article online if you include the following: Copyright © 2005, All Rights Reserved, Connie Bennett, Stop SUGAR SHOCK! , SugarShockBlog.com. When you publish this article,please e-mail Connie atarticle@SugarShock.com.

Worried about the holiday season and the plethora of culinary delights that might land in your mouth and stomach?

Fretting that you'll end up 5 to 10 pounds heavier a month or two from now, after all the parties and family get-togethers?

Wondering how to deal with all those well-meaning, dessert-pushing friends and colleagues?

Lately, I've been besieged by worrisome remarks such as these from folks, who want to make this holiday season sweeter simply by staying away from sweets.

They confide that they're overcome with the urge to splurge on holiday candy, cookies, and cakes – and then hate themselves afterwards for caving into their cravings.

Are you one of the millions who suffer in this manner?

For example, do you pop by the drug store for paper goods but always leave with junk food, too?

Or, do you feel like an incurable sugar addict with zero will power -- especially when confronted with platters of glitter-covered cookies and multi-colored candies?

Take heart.

Even during this food-focused Thanksgiving-to-New Year's time frame, you can quit -- or at least cut back on -- those tantalizing desserts and processed, “much-like-sugar carbs” such as brown-sugar-covered sweet potatoes and other sugary specialties.

Trust me, being vigilant during this holiday season could be quite rewarding.

Back in 1998, after I cut out sweets because of my hypoglycemia, all of my low-blood sugar symptoms completely disappeared, including my ferocious headaches, unexpected mood swings, debilitating “brain fog," severe PMS and heart palpitations. Amazingly, all 44 ailments disappeared! I do not exaggerate! After kicking sweets, I felt reborn!

Just knowing how much better I feel now -- it's a night-and-day-difference -- is what will keep me from plunging into a sugary hell again! There's no way you'll catch me slipping spoonfuls of pumpkin pie into my mouth. No way! It's not worth it!

Because I know the value of sugarfree joy, I'm now on a mission to help you, too, break free of your habit. I know that spurning inferior sweets and quickie carbs could turn your life around!

Please think about this now, before you start celebrating Thanksgiving with family and/friends. Just because the holidays are here doesn't mean you have to toss all your good intentions aside.

After all, "desserts" is "stressed" spelled backwards. Something to think about, eh?

Besides, you could benefit tremendoulsy if you're hypoglycemic, diabetic, overweight -- or if you're just wanting more energy, better concentration and improved relationships.

Here’s the non-sugar-coated scoop. If you continue to over-indulge in these nutrient-lacking foods you could:

• Pack on the pounds
• Sap your energy
• Become unfocused
• Undergo Jekyll-Hyde personality transformations
• Jeopardize your love life, and
• Possibly develop hypoglycemia, insulin resistance or diabetes.

If, instead, you choose quality, fiber-filled carbs, you could:

• Peel off excess weight
• Increase your energy
• Concentrate better
• Boost your moods
• Maybe rev up your libido, and
• Possibly reverse your pre-diabetes

Pretty promising, eh?

Here, then, are 7 tried-and-true tips and tactics to help you “just say no” to quickie carbs and get you through the holiday season:

1. Adjust your mindset – and pronto!

Before you can begin to make better dietary decisions, you need to totally change your thoughts. Toss away such negative views as: “Oh, boo hoo, I don’t want to quit or cut back on sweets, especially during the holidays!” Instead, dwell on positive ideas like this: “Wow, I’ll feel so great by kicking quickie carbs.” Now fill your mind with pleasant, powerful images. Visualize yourself easily turning down low-quality carbs and becoming a happier, healthier, sweeter you. See yourself in charge instead of enslaved.

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