Sweets are probably the biggest obstacle to maintaining a good figure. Fighting them is not the easiest, especially since temptations await us at every step. Why is it so difficult to break free from sweet trap?
Sweet taste is the first we have known since birth by taking mother's milk. It is very difficult to get rid of him and our physiology does not help us at all. The body reacts to the sweet taste by reproaching the so-called happiness hormones, i.e. endorphins and serotonin. No wonder then that we associate sweets with pleasure. This mechanism is cleverly used by food producers who are happy to smuggle sugar in many foods that seemingly should not contain it.
Sugar addiction - is it possible?
Considering the definition of addiction, according to which addiction means an acquired, strong need to perform an activity or use a substance, it can be assumed that addiction to sweets is possible. Although this addiction does not cause such effects as addiction to tobacco or alcohol, the mechanism of changes in our brain is similar. What symptoms can signal that something is wrong? If you often think about something sweet, sweets are your method for dealing with emotions (both sadness and joy), you feel anxiety if you do not eat anything sweet, and the amount of sweets eaten is out of your control - it's a sign that it's time for change.
How to limit the amount of sugar in your diet?
Step 1. Find the source of the problem.
We associate sweet taste with pleasure. No wonder then that eating sweets is very often associated with our emotional state. We celebrate happiness with a cake, and we eat sorrows with another chocolate, which is to bring relief in difficult times. We reward children with candies, and ourselves with a large apple pie for completing the project. Sometimes we also eat out of boredom to seemingly fill the void. Such activities create certain patterns that are difficult to part with later, especially if sweets take control of our emotions.
Tip: From a psychological point of view, the pattern of fighting with each habit is similar - one should be replaced with the other. Analyze your well-being and notice when you reach for something sweet most often. Make sure you have a substitute up your sleeve - instead of chocolates, reach for a book, aromatic tea or just go for a walk.
Step 2. Analyze your meals.
Increased appetite for sweets can be the result of a poorly balanced diet. One of the most frequently chosen methods for quick reduction is the significant elimination of carbohydrates, i.e. bread, potatoes or pasta. The shortage of certain macroelements causes the body to start demanding them itself. Limiting the consumption of energy, which most comes from carbohydrates, comes back with doubled strength - and we just "throw" on sweets.
Tip: Regular consumption of nutritious meals significantly reduces the desire for sweets. An appropriate balance of products supplying both carbohydrates, fat and protein causes that the body receives all the necessary components. In addition, complex carbohydrates, i.e. cereal or pasta, or whole-grain breads provide us with fiber, B vitamins or magnesium, and sweets are just empty calories.
Step 3. Get organized!
The lack of proper organization of meals makes us much more susceptible to temptation. When we are hungry, it is much easier and more convenient for us to reach for a bar or a cake. We eat them quickly, which in turn causes an even greater appetite for sweets. Although we consume a considerable amount of calories, it does not reduce the feeling of hunger.
Tip: During the long stay away from home, you should have a sandwich or fruit that you can reach when you are hungry. Let's always shop with a full stomach. Otherwise, our purchases will be driven by hunger, not common sense, and the basket will contain more high-calorie products.
Step 4. Clean up the cabinets.
A sweet cabinet, i.e. a place where we can always find a candy bar, a few candies or a piece of chocolate, we can find in almost every home. The temptation available at your fingertips makes it much harder to resist. The presence of sweets at home often contributes to skipping nutritious meals during the day, e.g. dinner.
Tip: The solution is simple - don't buy sweets. Do not store them for a rainy day, because they will disappear faster than you expect. In crisis situations, reach for a banana, orange or a handful of cranberries.
Step 5. Act progressively.
The habit is not built overnight. So you can't expect it to disappear just as quickly. In order for the effects to be long-lasting, you must fight the sweet addiction gradually. The presence of a sweet taste on the menu is not bad, as long as we can set limits and choose products that provide it to us.
Tip: Reducing sugar is best to start by reducing sweetening. If we usually add 2 teaspoons of sugar to tea or coffee, try to limit it to 1.5 teaspoons, then to 1 teaspoon until we stop sweetening. It is important to gradually reduce the amount of sugar, reducing its amount e.g. every 2 weeks. Making changes in this way will be less noticeable to us, but the effect will be positive.
Step 6. Choose substitutes carefully.
When limiting sugar, we often focus on replacements for sweets. Awareness of the seemingly healthier version of the dessert we automatically eat more of it. Fit cakes, desserts or ice cream can, however, be a real trap and cause the opposite of the intended effect. Seemingly "fit" sweets also have a caloric value, often close to their traditional counterparts.
Tip: Use "fit" substitutes wisely and do not treat them with large dispensation. Instead of looking for sugar substitutes, include fruit in your diet. In addition to the sweet taste, they will provide valuable vitamins and trace elements, as well as fiber.