How I got Rid of My Sugar Addiction
I’d been saying for a long time that I used to live healthier back home (I was living outside of the USA at the time), and saying I ate too much sugar and was addicted. So in February 2016, I decided to create an accountability journal to curb my sugar addiction.
I’ve heard before that when you diet, if you totally forbid yourself from a certain food group (whether it is sugar, carbs, red meat, or fats) then you’ll crave it and are more likely to fall off the wagon. Therefore, I decided to give myself 2 “cheat days” a week. Also, when creating goals for yourself you should make them S.M.A.R.T. — specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused, and time-bound.
My goal was this: I would only be allowed to eat sugar twice a week. I would record when I had cravings for sugar (if I was feeling bored, if it was after a meal, etc.), and I would record what sugary things I ate on my cheat days. In 6 months’ time (August 2016) I would no longer need the journal if I didn’t want it.
I also allowed for my journal to evolve overtime. At first, I wrote down every single day:
As you can see, I wrote down exactly what I ate — and I noticed sometimes I kept eating something even when I felt it was too sweet. I noted it as a behavior to work on. I also started noticing how sugar affected my feelings (too much/little = headache) I really felt like an addict at some points. I felt INTENSE sugar cravings. Almost every day for the first few weeks (yes It does get better).
Then I allowed more flexibility. I only wrote down Monday (my weeks started on Monday), and my cheat days/cravings.
My last entry was July 4, where I feel I had mastered all my cravings. Don’t get me wrong, I still have the occasional craving. Don’t we all? I still do cheat days; I use a planner/keep track in my head now as it’s become a habit after 9 months.
HOW DID I STICK WITH IT:
Tell your family, friends, and coworkers. I asked my boyfriend to be my accountability buddy, to help make sure I kept on the right track. You’re more likely to keep goals when you tell others about them! They can be very supportive as well, the other day I went out to a celebration and my friend brought fruit to celebrate instead of a cake, since she didn’t know if it was my cheat day or not. It wasn’t, which made me appreciate it so much nicer.
Learn to deny people.
I used to LOVE free things. And at my office it seems every other day someone is treating the office out to afternoon tea. It was VERY hard to refuse at first, some people think they are being friendly and INSIST that they give you something, but remember that it’s not conducive to your goals. Eventually, if you refuse them enough, they will stop offering. People in my office learned that, and now sometimes coworkers will remind themselves/others that I don’t eat sweets often.
Write it down.
I know it’s a whole journal concept, but that means you can’t skip out! Writing down cravings really helps you identify when they will happen. Mine usually happened at night after dinner, and when I was feeling bored. After I noticed my pattern, I usually tried to make sure I drank a glass of water or had some fruit if the craving really didn’t go away.