When I first thought about how to stop eating sugar, the idea scared me. It scared me because who doesn’t love sugar? Sugar is in almost everything we buy at the grocery store, so how in the world can we stop? I mean, who doesn’t love that first bite of a warm chocolate chip cookie? The truth is, we all love a warm cookie, but in the end, it does nothing for a healthy body and mind. The bigger truth is that sugar takes more away from us than it gives us.
While some say it takes 21 days to change a habit and 90 days to make it permanent, I believe if we create a new routine and habit, our change can take place in just three days.
The first thing we need to find when we decide to stop eating sugar is our courage. It takes courage to say ‘no’ to that sugary treat after dinner, which is when most of us crave it, because dessert is comforting.
On the first night, I sat on the couch and I could feel the desire to bite into the chocolate chip cookies I made for my husband. Sounds like a recipe for disaster, but I knew if I gave into the desire, I would be stuck in the body I no longer wanted. I knew if I wanted to change my body, I would have to change my habits and rituals surrounding the after dinner treat.
When I need to change my diet for a competition, I find the first day and night is always the hardest. My body is acclimating to a different style of eating, different foods, and different workouts all together. I might have a craving or feel particularly hungry or fatigued on that first night, but when I hang in there and choose NOT to give into the sugary urge, I feel exponentially better the next morning. I feel better because I did not give my body sugar, which some health experts call ‘poison’, and I found the courage to change my habit.
Day two is easier because my body is anticipating the change in eating habits and it prepares for its new routine. Instead of that sugary treat after dinner, I grab a piece of peppermint sugar free gum and before I know it, the desire for that sugar is gone. I also choose not to sit on the couch after dinner because that’s where my sugar habit was played out. I stretch while watching TV or dive into a new novel while sitting on the couch with my handsome hubby.
Day three is where it all begins to take shape. I find that I start to crave new foods I’ve been eating and begin to discover how sweet grapefruits really are. Sure, there’s sugar in the grapefruit, but it’s not refined or processed to death.
The secret to stop eating sugar is simply creating a new ritual and find new foods that fill you up and not out.