January 08, 2014
#CrushYourKryptonite: how to crush your sweet tooth
I've had a killer sweet tooth for as long as I can remember. My mom would not allow anything unnatural in the house, my dad on the other hand was a different story. My dad would let me buy whatever I wanted and coming from a kid who was only allowed to snack on celery and have salads for dinner, I went all out. Candy, cake, cookies, pies, sour, sweet I love it all! I feel like as my fitness and diet has improved my cravings for sugar have reached an all time high. I can't just grab a cookie and stop at one, I have to eat the whole box. Once I get the taste for sugar again it haunts me until I get another fix, this is a true addiction that needs to STOP. If I want my physical goals to be reached I know I have to give up my obsession with sweets at all costs. I am usually really good about it for 2 weeks and then I fall off the wagon and am shoveling sweets down my windpipe (slightly exaggerated). So we're in a new year and everyone is going around making resolutions, that's not my style. What I do want to do is go back to a time in my life where I didn't crave sweets and I was still reaching my physical goals. All this coming from someone who has spent years studying nutrition; I know why I have cravings yet I am still a victim to them, hey I am human.
So I went on a mission to uncover a simple explanation on:1. Why we crave sweets 2. How to to kick the habit for good 3. Also how to have a realistic and healthy relationship with those yummy devils (sounds like dating advice) :D I searched all over the internet and landed on Precision Nutrition's, Ryan Andrews and his journey through a year of NO desserts. I was inspired by what he learned and also what we can take away from his experiment:
Desserts are AddictiveWe crave desserts and have a powerful attachment to them. They are also attached to almost any social gathering or holiday event, especially in North America. Thankfully we have a CHOICE to direct our actions and we are in CONTROL. There are a lot more difficult things that we choose not to do on a daily basis right? They are addictive because of a powerful neurotransmitter- dopamine.
We don't eat sugar "in moderation"This was 100% right on, especially here in North America. Everything around us is cheap, fast and easy. This can easily be translated into sugar laced, cancer giving CRAP!
Some other things that I took away from Ryan's experiment:
- Desserts can easily become a habit. Some of us eat a bowl of ice cream 3x's per week, that would be considered a habit.
- We have moved away from whole plant based foods and have replaced them with heavily processed foods, a lot of them contain hidden sugars.
- You MAY need to have an all-or-nothing approach ( I've never tried this); no sweets, no excuses.
- You can learn to reset your taste preferences by incorporating more fresh foods and reducing processed food consumption.
You can change if you are willing to DO so because YOU are in CONTROL of the CHOICES you make.Doesn't that statement make you feel so empowered?
This is what I am choosing to do in response to my sugar addiction:
- I am kicking it cold turkey and going back to my fresh foods, limited meats (it must be free range and organic).
- I will not give food power over my decisions, its just food here.
- I will change my perspective from "I can't" eat sweets to "I don't eat" sweets