The first and most obvious idea is to not buy sugary items then you don’t have to worry about it. For those of you with that much will power, bless you, you may now stop reading. For the rest of us some strategies will be needed to keep our sweet tooth under control.
- We are basically lazy so if we make healthier food easier than unhealthy it will help. Keep a fruit bowl filled with your favorites on the counter. This will help the sweet tooth with a healthy alternative.
- Make junk foods harder to get. Hide the chips and cookies on the back of the top shelf. Some people get a child lock for the junk food cabinet. This won’t prevent you from eating these things it will just make you think about it.
- If you or your children eat cereal buy the unsweetened type and put a sugar bowl on the table with no limits. I know this sounds strange but almost no one will put as much sugar on their cereal as the manufactures put in their cereal.
- If you buy cookies etc take time to put them into smaller packages. Snack size zip bags work well. I know several junk foods that any size bag is a single serving bag for me!
- Hide your ice cream. Wrap it in foil and put it on the bottom of the freezer. That way you won’t see it and the sight trigger a craving.
- Do something to replace soft drinks! This includes diet drinks, sweet tea fruit juices, chocolate milk, and those super sweet iced coffees. There could be (and maybe should be) an entire series on this but for now try to limit these things to one small one per week.
- Read labels. Did you know that most kinds of red kidney beans have added sugar? Some don’t so use them you will not taste the difference. That’s just one example.
- Ask yourself why you are eating: Think HALT-Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired. If it is any other than hungry try to solve it without food.
- Finally and most important: if you don’t know how learn to cook your own food. The restaurants are committed to serving you the most addictive mixture of sweet, salty, and greasy to make you come back. Cooking healthy is simple. If you are pressed for time commit some time to do food prep one time for the upcoming week then all you have to do is throw it in the pot and you are good to go.
I hope these ideas help some. Remember most of us don’t have the willpower (or the desire for that matter) to quit cold turkey. Try to reduce some each month for the next year. You will be glad you did.
Remember any questions or comments can be directed to the Mitchell Wellness Facebook page.