“Plan for what is difficult while it is easy, do what is great, while it is small.”
One of the reasons I have committed to carving out time for myself on a regular basis is so that I can reflect on what’s working in my life and also have a chance to be able to recognize what’s not. When we are living in high gear all the time, it never crosses our mind to stop and reassess our actions and the results they are bringing us. We just keep plowing through each day, doing the same things somewhat oblivious to whether or not they are getting us towards the goals that are most important to us. We get caught up in the details rather than the big picture of what we really want.
Slowing down and paying more attention to how I feel, has helped me to recognize how foods high in sugar are just not my friends! For years I’ve tried to manage my portions of sweets so that I could still enjoy them while keeping the weight off but it always felt like an uphill battle. I didn’t want to deprive myself of foods high in sugar, yet when I ate them, it seemed it just fueled an over powering craving for more, more, more.
Last fall, when Weight Watchers introduced to WW Freestyle to us, the Weight Watchers service providers, without focusing on it specifically, I cut way back on my sugar intake. It truly happened organically. I was not specifically trying to consume less of sugar, I was simply excited about all of the foods on the zero SmartPoints food list that I could enjoy MORE of without tracking, weighing or measuring. As a result of eating more lean turkey, fish, chicken, eggs, beans, fat free yogurt and of course, fruits and veggies, my sugar intake went down, virtually without trying, and it felt GREAT! Then the really exciting part was when I noticed the less sugar I consumed, the less it called to me. I wasn’t experiencing urges to eat sugary foods and I was even able to pass on them in social situations without much effort. I felt a control over my eating that I have not experienced before.
As my food choices got further and further from processes sugary foods, my tastes changed as well. Fruit tasted sweeter and I could taste flavors I hadn’t really noticed before like the sweetness in carrots and sweet potatoes. Wow…this was amazing and I was thrilled! I thought my sugar habit was gone and I was cured…..and then the holidays arrived.
Okay, so it turns out that even though our cravings for sugar may be at bay once we cut back on it, for most of us, if we start re-introducing sugary foods on a regular basis over time, they come back. WaWaWa!!! Boy, these life lessons can sure be difficult! After the holidays I felt like I was back at square one. Ugh! Have you ever felt like that before?? Although it was a bummer, I also knew then what I know now….I did it once, I can do it again.
We are all different, of course, but for me, it takes about a week of cutting back on high sugar foods to start to feel really in control again. I’ve talked to many who can experience a change in just a day or two but for me, it’s longer. The process of getting back in control of my eating was made easier by some simple steps and I thought I would share them with you, incase you might be struggling with this now or in the future.
- Drink plenty of water. I know, we hear this all the time, but I can promise you, it WILL help to reduce your cravings for sweets and just to feel better overall. So simple….just do it!
- Eat plenty of protein and often so that you keep hunger at bay. If you let yourself get ravenous, it’s harder to say no to the cravings for sweets.
- In addition to protein, fill up on the fruits and veggies too. The combo of the sweetness and the fiber will really help. Allow yourself to enjoy all of the different flavors!
- Sleep. Be careful of letting yourself become over tired. When we are tired, our defenses are down and our cravings for junk food go up. Getting enough sleep will help you to feel your best and will make healthy choices easier.
- Most importantly, START NOW and stay in the moment. When the cravings hit, recognize them for what they are and remind yourself that you are not alone. Be kind to yourself by surrounding yourself with support. There are plenty of us on the healthy lifestyle journey with you, so reach out and let’s do it together!!!
The more filling, clean foods we eat, the better we start to feel and the less we crave the junk. If we just stay at it, the snow ball keeps gaining momentum in the healthy direction and it becomes not only easier but also fun and exciting.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on how changing the kinds of foods you are eating is changing how you feel and how cravings affect you. Speak up and let us know…posting a comment is simple and we all benefit from hearing different ideas and perspectives!
Have a fabulous week and I hope to see you at one of the Weight Watchers meetings I lead!!
All is well!
Weight Watchers Schedule
Tuesdays 10am Schaumburg Weight Watchers Store
Thursdays 530pm Geneva Weight Watchers Store