We are programmed to love sweet things. And while they used to be rare and hard to find, now sugar-laden foods are everywhere, in seemingly endless quantities. But you can take back control. Here are the Ten Commandments for a sweet and healthier life.
Sweets are packed with calories and fat and are a lot more fun to eat than fresh or cooked vegetables. They’re also very diverse in flavor, and the truth is that they never make you feel full. So even when you plan on eating a small amount , they can quickly kill your weight loss goals.
What can you do? The first step is to change how you look at sweets. Here are 10 rules that can help:
1. Enjoy the flavor, not the quantity
One of the biggest problems is that we’re used to enjoying everything in bulk. When it comes to sweets, especially, it’s very hard to be content with only one piece of chocolate. The main difficulty is to control the desire to continue eating when that sweet taste hits your mouth – yes, sweet stimulates appetite! It is important to understand and take that into account and decide that you’re allowed to eat slowly and enjoy every bite and not immediately have another round, even though it’s enjoyable.
2. Don’t get full
During a meal we expect to finish it entirely and feel full and calm. That’s not how sweets work. Their goal isn’t to achieve a sense of fullness! It is important to plan on stopping well before you’ve eaten a lot and still yearn for more. If you don’t feel full, drink plenty of water and wait patiently until the sweet tooth goes away.
3. Sweet window of opportunity
Setting a pre-planned schedule will prevent snacking throughout the day. Planning ahead will help you stop yourself when facing unplanned temptations. Set a snack time and meet that goal without compromising or cutting corners. Even if there’s a birthday party in the office and someone brings a cake, or a package of cookies, or opened candy in front of you, if it’s not during the time you set, no touching!
4. Predefined limit
To enjoy sweets and not let them destroy your daily allotment of calories, it is important to plan the amount you’re going to eat. Don’t let spontaneity take over, because that’s how you lose control..
5. Diversity instead of degeneration
Diversify the sweets you eat and set a ground rule: never eat the same sweet day after day. This step can help you plan ahead and can prevent binge eating of that same problematic product that might spoil your diet.
6. I have a weakness for…
Everyone has a weakness for certain sweets. Some people know that once they taste chocolate, they can’t stop. Others are weak when it comes to cakes, cookies or candy. Figure out the most problematic sweet for you, the one that makes you lose control, and simply avoid eating it. Choose sweets you like, but the kind you know you can eat with self-control.
7. Thou shall not hate (or love too much)
Disconnect any emotional connection you might have to sweets, and don’t give them the power to “comfort” you or calm you down in stressful situations. Eat them because you’re enjoying yourself and want something sweet, and not because you’re angry, lonely, insulted or in a bad mood.
8. No more eating alone in the dark
Remember, there is no prohibition against eating sweets! As long as you integrate them properly into your diet, you can still enjoy sweets on any healthy eating plan and for any weight you want to maintain. The trick is to enjoy yourself and not feel like you’re doing something wrong or bad. Enjoy eating, don’t sneak around in the dark, and don’t hide it from other people. If you choose to eat sweets, be proud of it!
9. No sweets
If you know yourself, and you know you’re not the kind to be satisfied with a small amount of sweets, maybe it’s best not to have any at all. True, it might sound cruel, but those of you who need to go “cold turkey” to gain control need to know that weakness so you won’t get caught in that the same trap again and again.
10. Choose to make exceptions
Some people shouldn’t go completely cold turkey, but simply decide ahead of time the occasions when they allow themselves to eat sweets. For example, weekends, holiday meals, weddings, birthdays, or when you go out to eat, decide where the red lines are and when to enjoy sweets.
So are there sweets that fit a healthy lifestyle? Click here for a selection of delectable, almost guilt-free desserts that can be worked into your program .