If you’re like me, sugar-free diets can be super difficult.
Are you one of those people who could skip a meal and just eat dessert? That’s me. I love my indulgent foods. Chocolate is on top of the list – next is ice cream and cookies.
I have had numerous New Years’ resolutions in the distant past, where I decided to give up my nemesis foods and adopt a sugar-free diet…
…only to end up overindulging and vowing to just do better next time.
Are you with me?
Think of your nemesis food as having a spectrum of desire. If you could care less if you ever ate sugar again, you are on one end of the spectrum. Congratulations, I hate you. Just kidding. 🙂
Some of us happen to be higher on the sugar-craving spectrum.
We love our sugar. One approach is to abstain from said food for the rest of our life.
That would be really, really sad.
I want to celebrate all my birthdays with cake.
I want to celebrate dates nights with chocolate.
I am self-aware to know this about myself, so I have decided to stop trying to draw a line in the sand with my sugar.
A line in the sand just feels like a dare and I want to cross it to be defiant. It’s kind of like when your teenage daughter is dating a jerk. If you forbid her to see him, she will sneak around in spite of your rules.
Back to this sugar nemesis…Sugar is not great for us.
Regular sugar consumption can become addictive as evidenced by our dopamine receptors.
Sugar is often the culprit of achy joints, and many people fail to realize this. Highly processed foods and sugary foods are directly associated with inflammation in the body. (This may be partially why people without Celiac disease who go gluten-free feel better. Many gluten-rich foods are highly processed and convert to sugar easily when digested)
If you have achy joints from time to time, You can figure this out for yourself. Take notice of when you eat more sugary/highly processed foods.
Then be aware of how your joints feel in the day or two following. This is especially pronounced when you have been away from sugar and return to it even for one meal.
We don’t have to break up with sugar and adopt a totally 100% sugar-free diet.
Most of us are not true sugar addicts. With a mindset shift and practice, we can learn to enjoy it periodically. This way it’s not a forbidden idol that we covet and feel guilty about later. Click To Tweet
Here are two approaches you can take depending on your outlook:
One option is to have a little bit of sugar every day.
For example a square of dark chocolate each day. To be clear this does not mean eating an entire dessert every day.
This takes a certain amount of control at first, and as time goes on will become an automatic habit. If you are the type who can limit yourself and move on. Then go for it.
The other approach, my preference, is to plan on having a dessert once a week.
For example, we generally have a date night on the weekend, and we will share a dessert.
What is the better option? The one you can stick with. As long as you are not diabetic, enjoying a bit of sugar periodically to keep the FOMO in check is far better than quitting sugar and then bingeing on it secretly.
Ps– Check out my smoothie recipes. They feel like dessert but are nutritious meals. They are a great strategy to get the feel of a treat while fueling your body to feel, look, and perform better. You can grab my guide below.