How can you start breaking sugar addiction? I've had immense success with cutting back on sugary foods, as well as junk food in general. It began in 2010.
I'd been wanting to cut back on desserts, cookies, brownies, ice cream, chocolate, candy, doughnuts, you name it, for a matter of years beforehand. I'd seen someone cut out sweets cold turkey during that time. I'd never seen anybody do that before. That made me think, "Okay, it is possible."
That rumbled around in my head for a year or more. I was also reading books on breaking sugar addiction. Finally in early 2010, it happened. I was at work and all of a sudden I was presented with some treat. I thought, "Wow, I have gone a whole week with no treats!" It happened subconsciously. I wasn't even aware that I had gone for a whole week without any dessert, cookie, chocolate or anything.
And automatically I reached for the treat that had presented itself in front of me. And then it began. For the next three years I ended up having roughly one treat per week.
Then in 2013 I went from one treat per week to one treat every month or two.
The beauty of all this is that, and I want to make sure you hear me correctly, there is no willpower involved. I don't have that awful tug-of-war in my head that says, "Eat it!" and "Don't eat it!" I really just don't think about it. It's like someone who has never smoked. They don't really think about smoking through the course of the day. Where they can buy cigarettes, when they're going to smoke, how many they have left. And the cravings.
Those thoughts just don't enter the mind of someone who has never smoked. And that's the way it is with me. For the first three years, I would go roughly a week and not even think about sugar or junk food. And since then I can go a whole month or even two and the thoughts stay at bay.
This is probably one of the nicest things I've found about breaking sugar addiction. No internal struggle.
"Oh, you've had a hard day, you deserve it. Go on. Eat it."
"Well, you know, I probably shouldn't."
"Oh, c'mon, a little bit won't hurt you."
And on and on, until eventually you give in and eat the treat.
It's all in the mind. Our ancestors could only eat honey or some dried fruit for a treat. Sugar was discovered thousands of years ago, but it largely remained a luxury for the rich. Then in the 1800s and 1900s it became a luxury for everybody. Sugar is very new in our history.
How many years have we been eating vegetables, fruits and meat? People have been walking upright for about 2 million years. What did they evolve from? How many millions of years were the apes we evolved from eating vegetables, fruit and meat? And the mammals before them? The first mammal from which we all evolved was a small, squirrel-like creature.
And the first mammals evolved from reptiles. What were all these creatures eating? How has that influenced our DNA and our bodies over many millions of years?
Food for thought.
Okay, so sugar is new. My point is how badly do we really need it to survive? For millions of years we got our sugar from fruit, the healthy way to get it. Why do we absolutely need that chocolate bar to help us get through the day?
I get by on very few treats in a year. Six to twelve to be exact. I use to have something at every meal. Sugar on my cereal in the morning, dessert at lunch, dessert at dinner. A chocolate bar from the store, an ice cream cone on a hot day. Millions of us do this. Why? We don't need it. It does nothing for us.
A little bit won't hurt us, we say. But for the amount of it we eat, it could constitute another entire food group. Is that bowl of ice cream the same size as your potato? Or bigger? Is that doughnut the same size as your bagel? What volume of sweets do we eat in a day and how does it relate to the volume of fruits or vegetables we eat?
I highly recommend reading books on breaking sugar addiction. There are plenty of them out there. When you immerse yourself in the subject, it will help you to get in the zone. You will learn some tricks or ways of thinking about things that you would never have thought of on your own.
To back up briefly, before I cut sweets down to one a week in 2010, I had already cut out pop (that was the first one to go) in the 1990s and ice cream in the early 2000s. Those were relatively simple to do. I had decided not to eat them anymore. It all starts with a choice. And it happens in a moment. A simple thought. Literally in a second or two. You have to want to do this.
You may not be ready to do this. I know I wasn't for years. But when you're ready, you're ready. You know when it is happening. It is a simple feeling. And that simple feeling can last years. Even a lifetime.
Oh, and did I mention the money you'll save? How much did those cookies cost? All the chocolate bars you ate this year? I've saved hundreds of dollars every year. And over many years it goes into the thousands of dollars.
That's my story of breaking sugar addiction. I am still somewhat addicted, as I "need" something once every month or two. I dream about giving them up entirely. But it's a work in progress.
However, if you can get down to a treat once a week, that is a huge increase in the amount you're not eating. If you have something sugary at every meal, that is 365 x 3 = more than 1000 treats per year. Do you know what one treat per week is?....52! That is a drop from 1000 to 52! Massive! If you think going from one treat per week to one every month or two is a big drop, it is still only going from 52 to 6-12. Still nothing compared to 1000.
Breaking sugar addiction, or as I do, almost breaking it, is a very rewarding experience. I feel very good about the fact that I don't eat all that garbage. I sometimes wish I hadn't had all those years of eating it earlier in my life, but c'est la vie. I hope this has helped you.