Did you know that sugar was once used as currency, and people would trade highly valuable objects for the powdery white stuff?
I can relate, because there are days I would happily take payment of doughnuts and chocolate cake for services rendered.
Or a brownie.
Two weeks ago, my husband and I went out to dinner. It was our first night out without our daughter in a while, and we decided to celebrate and look at the dessert menu. Believe it or not, nothing looked good. We should have stopped there, but we instead decided to joke with the waiter that we would order dessert if he had brownies hiding in the back somewhere. What are the chances??
He delivered a brownie with vanilla ice cream to our table five minutes later.
No problem. Lucky me – I don’t even like ice cream! So I had one bite and called it quits.
Here’s the thing – it had been a while since I had dessert and my body was just reminded of what sugar does. It would not let me off the hook easily.
The next day, I remembered that brownie and thought “Hmmm, I didn’t have much. Maybe I should have a little tonight to make up for it.” So I bought something – I don’t even remember what – and had a few bites with my husband. Again, it actually wasn’t very good, and we now had leftovers.
Well, I can’t let anything go to WASTE, can I?? I mean, come on, that would be rude. So we finished it the next night.
Then our daughter’s molars started coming in and, if you have a toddler, you know what kind of behavior this can produce for a few days. After being told “no” 1007 times in one day, I decided some chocolate pretzels and wine sounded glorious after she was asleep.
Then we had to finish THAT bag, because of the waste thing again.
Now I am craving those d$%* chocolate pretzels at 3:00 in the afternoon because of one bite of brownie after dinner two weeks ago.
I really am not exaggerating at all when I tell you this story. I do fine saying no to sugar when I don’t have it. My body forgets. I forget what it tastes like and the sugar rush it produces. My need for it just fades away. When I have it again, it leads to a big old cycle of crazy that I have to consciously break myself out of.
There actually is science to back up this phenomenon.
Sugar causes an immediate inflammation in your body. I mean, immediate. You now have a lot of sugar in your blood and your body says “Red alert! This sugar needs to go somewhere else right away!” So insulin is released and it takes that sugar and stores it in muscle or fat for later use. Now your blood sugar levels have plummeted and your body says, “Red alert! I’m starving! Please give me more sugar right now!” You happily comply and this roller coaster goes on and on. Over the years, this can lead to weight gain, fat stores, a harder time losing weight, fatigue, insulin resistance and diabetes. No bueno.
Your goal is to keep your blood sugar as stable as possible throughout the day – easy peasy, no extreme highs or lows. This can be hard when the craving monster is calling your name!
You might not be like me. You might easily be able to have one piece of dark chocolate and then not want anything again for three weeks. Good for you!
If you are like me, and find yourself wanting more and more sugary things to feed your cravings, or if you find yourself having a little “treat” every afternoon thinking this won’t add up, this post is for YOU.
With the help of The Vitamin Essentials, I’ve put together a list of 10 Ways to Decrease Sugar Cravings to help us all get ourselves back on track. Print it and put it up on your refrigerator or in your office break room. Each day you say “no” to sugar it will get a little easier. If you give in, just start over again! You can do this! We can do it together. As long as waiters don’t bring us hidden brownies anymore…
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