For Sugar Addicts Only – Part 2

You have made the decision to eliminate sugar from your life permanently. Great! Now where do you begin? You have already taken an important step in breaking thru denial and acknowledging that sugar is your drug of choice. No matter how you have tried to manage it, the result is the same, the obsession continues, and the pounds pile on.

You have realized that you do not need a DIET, that you go ON and OFF, with the accompanying yo-yo syndrome. You have accepted and embraced the truth that sugar is your enemy and no longer has a place in your life. You have begun to grieve the loss of your friend and comforter.

Let’s talk, then about practical steps to take to accomplish your goal.

1. Replace certain white foods with brown foods. Use whole wheat bread, pasta, tortillas, and brown rice. (Read the label on your bread and make sure that is says “100 percent whole wheat”, not “enriched flour”). Most restaurants can provide whole wheat products upon request.

2. Eliminate potatoes from your food plan. This includes mashed potatoes, potato chips etc. Potatoes are VERY high on the Glygemic Index, are quickly converted to sugar in your system, and stimulate the appetite.

3. Substitute your favorite snack foods with healthy alternatives. For example, acquire a taste for raw vegetables, fruits, popcorn, and lightly salted rice cakes. It’s amazing how sweet fresh fruit tastes when you have been off of sugar for awhile!

4. Learn to love water and herbal teas. Drink an occasional diet soda in place of sugared sodas, sports drinks, etc. Herbal teas are a great choice, but you must give your taste buds a chance to adjust.

5. Bypass pastries, cookies, candy, pies, cakes, waffles and pancakes. This is the most challenging one yet. It will take some time to get used to saying no to these “comfort” foods.

6. Find a sugar substitute that works for you. Splenda or Stevia are good choices. (Stay away from saccharine and aspartame.)

7. Learn to manage your “sweet tooth” with the following foods:

. Apple with peanut butter (natural, with no sugar)
. ½ banana with peanut butter
. “Ants on a log” (celery with peanut butter and raisins)
. Rice cake with peanut butter and Smuckers Spreadable fruit (Can you tell I like peanut butter?)
. Sugar free hot chocolate or coffee with a small amount of hazelnut coffee creamer
. Limited portions of sugarless or sugar free desserts.
. Low fat plain yogurt with sweetener, fresh fruit and nuts.

Congratulate yourself as you begin to make these healthy food choices. BEWARE, however of portion control! (2 tablespoons of Peanut Butter contains 200 calories.) Too much of a good thing CAN hurt you. It will cause you to gain or maintain weight. Remember that the secret of losing weight is to expend more calories than you consume. This applies for all kinds of food. Don’t be like to dieters of the last decade who thought they could consume as much food as they wanted as long as it was “reduced fat, low fat or fat-free”. Much to their dismay, they only got fatter! Ask God empower you to not only begin to change your diet, but to be moderate in your portions as well. We strive for PROGRESS, not PERFECTION!

This article is by Jennifer Cecil, M.Ed., LPC