I saw a quote from comedian Ricky Gervais once. When asked why he thought people were unhealthy he replied, “Probably because cake tastes better than cauliflower”.
Yummy Vs. Yucky
Human beings as a whole will almost always choose to do the thing that makes them happy. If you have a choice between two things and one you love and one you don’t, who would naturally gravitate towards the thing that makes you unhappy? Not me! The same goes with our food choices. It is much harder to make yourself eat things that you are not enjoying, no matter what the brain says about how good it is for you and how much healthier you will be. Eventually eating that thing will just be a drag and you will pull out the Peanut Butter M&M’s and BAM!… that healthy lifestyle choice went out the window in a frantic 5 minute bliss of jamming sweetly covered dots into your mouth.
It’s Sad But It’s True
I don’t know why when food was created, someone made sugar and carbs and soft serve cones bad for you and brussel sprouts and cabbage good for you. That’s just the way it is. So we have a few things we can do about that. We can only eat things we like the taste of and become unhealthy or we can find ways to make healthy food enjoyable for us.
People believe that healthy eating equals deprivation and extreme lack of flavor but all it takes is a little experimenting to find something that will work for you. Once you have begun to change your eating patterns you will find all sorts of healthy, yummy alternatives to a McDonalds burger and fries. Don’t be scared of adding salt, dressings and sauces to your meals. Believe me, that full fat dressing that helps you enjoy your salad is a hell of a lot healthier than Taco Bell.
Trick Your Mind
There are actually ways to get rid of sugar cravings without having something filled with sugar. They involve eating something healthy that suppresses sugar cravings and I’m here to tell you they actually work! A favorite of mine is Licorice Mint tea. Leave it to steep for longer than it suggests and then drink. It’s a sweet enough tea that I often find at the end of it I no longer want that piece of chocolate.
Some other examples of sugar craving suppressants are:
- Herbal teas
Feed The Wild Beast (But Only A Little)
If you find that you are still craving sugar it’s ok to indulge a little. By a little I mean one piece of chocolate or 6 m&m’s. But if you are the type of person who cannot stop at one (you know who you are), don’t start at all. Best to avoid that whole beast altogether.
You Can’t Have What You Don’t Have
This is another version of “Don’t shop while you are hungry”. You have all heard that old adage and it is true. You get to the checkout, your cart is full of junk food and you are not quite sure how it got there!?! Making sure you are well fed before you set foot in a supermarket will help you cut down on the impulse buys that usually are quick fix unhealthy choices.
The second part to that story is once you are home. If you don’t have the foods you crave in the cupboard, it is a whole lot easier to avoid eating them. I am not a fan of heading out from home again after shopping so no matter how much I am craving nachos smothered in cheese, if it is not in my house, I won’t consume it.
Get Rid Of The Elephant In The Room
If you have caved and bought some less than desirable food home, don’t feel wasteful if you throw it out after a few bites. That’s better than battling those calories on the running machine the next morning. I have a friend who loves pizza and can’t stop at just two pieces. She now orders a pizza, eats two slices and then wets the pizza in the sink so she won’t eat any more. This is a great solution because she knows her weakness and has come up with a great solution to not overindulge.
The Light At The End Of The Tunnel
The great thing about slowly reducing the sweet things from your diet is that soon you will notice that you can’t eat as much of them when you do indulge. That packet of Oreos will begin to seem super sugary and you will find the strength and will power to put the packet away after just two rather than finishing the whole lot. And who knows? Maybe after a few years, you will prefer cauliflower to cake!
FYI: Sugar is considered one of the most addictive substances on Earth. More so than coffee. Don’t believe me? Exclude all sugar (including the hidden ones in breads, sauces and drinks) and then see how your body reacts. Chances are, you will go through withdrawals more extreme than the last time you missed your coffee break.
Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts and Ice Cream by @kyfurneaux