DIET FREE Habit 4 – Tame Your Sweet Tooth And Naturally Eat As Little Sugar As Possible
I am now starting Week 4 of the Diet Free lifestyle proposed by Zonya Foco, Registered Dietician (see September 23 blog for a quick overview of the program). I must say I am feeling great! I haven’t once felt hungry, my cravings for salty snacks have disappeared, and—bonus—I have lost 8 pounds! Pretty remarkable, considering that Thanksgiving was last week! I attribute the weight loss mainly to the cessation of my nightly pig-outs before bedtime.
So what does Zonya have to say this week? Almost every diet tells us to get our sugar consumption under control. But this is supposed to be the “DIET FREE” program! Zonya teaches that each of us has a different “sweet acuity,” or perception of what “sweet” is. For example, some people will only eat pancakes that are drowning in a lake of syrup, while others are completely satisfied with only fruit on their pancakes. How does this happen? Our taste for sweet is a LEARNED behavior, which may have been helped along by a well-meaning mom or granny, as well as food manufacturers who add sugar to many products without our even knowing it.
What is your sweetness acuity? I’d rate mine as medium on the scale. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve been known to polish off half a dozen donuts on a binge, or eat all the Halloween treats before Halloween, but I usually reach for salty when I’m craving a snack. Some of my friends (you know who you are!) are right off the high end of the sweet acuity scale. Who’s in charge of your sweetness acuity dial? YOU are, of course! To get control of this, you need to learn to like things less sweet. Once you do that, your body will act like an internal sugar control. You will find you are satisfied with things that are less sweet—not avoid them because you’re on a diet.
Here are Zonya’s tips to tame that sweet tooth:
1. Sweet Craving Cure: Eat 4 servings of fruit each day. Your body requires simple carbohydrates to function. If it doesn’t’ get them, it sends out a sweet craving message to the brain. What it really wants is fruit! Eat a serving of fruit and drink a glass of water every 4 hours while awake.
2. Lower Your Sweet Acuity: Replace high sugar choices with lower sugar options.
a.Instead of syrup on your pancakes, try frozen blueberries (or strawberries, or raspberries) heated up in the microwave.
b.When buying cereal, aim for less sugar and more fibre. Choose cereals with at least 3 grams of fibre, and no more than 8 grams of sugar.
3. Look Forward to 1-2 SMALL Sweet Treats EVERY DAY! Eat sweets in moderation. If you like ice cream, make your serving ½ cup. That way, you aren’t depriving yourself, but you’re controlling your sugar intake.
4. When Faced with a Fattening Full Sugar Dessert, Half It and Have It: If grandma comes over with her famous pecan pie, have half a slice. If your friend gives you chocolate kisses for Halloween, eat 10 pieces instead of 20.
If you follow just these 4 tips, you might reduce your sugar consumption by 50 pounds in a year!