When people following eating plans relax their eating, the result is ‘sugar creep’. A chocolate here, a coffee drink there – eventually the small nibbles and sips snowball and they find themselves bewildered with a half-eaten box of chocolates in their hand, wondering how it all came to be.
What happened was not so much a relaxing of their eating – it’s that they stopped eating with awareness. Little by little, the healthy habits they worked so hard to integrate into their lives slipped away and old habits took over. But it doesn’t have to happen to you. Here are three simple but powerful ways to outsmart sugar creep.
Keep Reading Those Labels
This positive habit reinforces awareness and can help snap you back to reality when you’re thinking about a treat that you may not really want. Say, for example, your other half brings home a raspberry and cream-cheese Danish pastry. The label says that one serving has 15 grams of sugar. That’s just short of four teaspoons!
Do you really, really, really want that pastry or would a few squares of dark chocolate or a slice of wholegrain toast with 100-percent raspberry jam hit the spot just as well?
Plan Your Treats
For the most part, you should decide what you’ll have as a treat on any particular day and stick to that. The idea is to limit your spontaneous sugar indulgences as much as possible. Planning not only helps you manage your intake of sugar but increases your enjoyment of it when you decide to indulge.
When You Treat Yourself, Do It Mindfully
Every time you have a sugary treat, give your full attention to the first bite. Gaze at it lovingly. Sigh over it. Give thanks for it and give thought to its colour, scent, temperature and complexity of flavours. It’s a way to pay respect to sugar and keep your awareness of its presence in your diet sharp. Sugar creep won’t be able to gain the upper hand.
This content originally appeared in Women’s Health Shrink Your Sugar Belly Volume 2