Drowning in Trick-Or-Treat Candy? Here are seven tips for resisting sweets. (And, one of many bad mom moments I am embarrassed by that will make you feel better about yourself.)
Sugar releases a little burst of feel-good chemicals after eating a treat. But, a while later, assess how you feel after eating something that is sugar-laden. Be honest with yourself. How do you feel, physically, emotionally, mentally? Do you want to continue in that cycle? Is it worth it? Quitting sugar addictions is one of the most beneficial things clients and I address.
Sugar feeds our inflammatory response too. We may not feel inflammation like the sugar-rush and subsequent crash. But, internally it is hidden and causes damage over time when we continue consuming it. In a recent blog article, I talked about four foods to avoid in order to lower inflammation, one of them being sugar.
Are you drowning in leftover trick-or-treat candy?
Sometimes people find themselves eating candy just because it is there. If it is your weakness, here are few tips to navigate all that extra candy:
Get Rid of It
Do yourself a favor, head off your access to the sugar-fix by getting rid of it right away. In fact, just throw it away. CAUTION: I recommend doing so super discreetly so your kids don’t freak out and think you are the meanest mom in the world!
One year my kids disobeyed something I’d asked of them. In a weak moment, I told them that if they did XYZ I would throw away their candy.
They did XYZ.
I had said it, SO I had to follow through!
You can imagine two little kids running off crying and angry at their mom for doing that to them! It was like I killed their favorite pet or something! It was awful! What my kids didn’t know is that I went back later when they weren’t looking and picked out the choice candy. I tucked those sweets away and occasionally put one in their lunch. Today, as teens they told me I scarred them for life! It was not one of my best mom moments. So, maybe don’t threaten your kids with it. Be super discreet and maybe only toss a few a week so it is gradual? Good luck with that one!
If you feel guilty throwing it away, you can take candy to work or give it to teachers to hand out to students.
Out of Sight, Out of Mind
If the chocolates are your kryponite, you can put them in a freezer bag and stash them for the kids’ lunches. It will defrost by the time they get to lunch. They don’t need it all at once anyway so keeping it out of sight and out of mind helps.
If you know it is in the freezer and it is still tempting for you, you may want to tape a note on it to yourself. Use a motivational quote or a picture of those jeans you want to still fit into after the holidays. Find something that will be a trigger for you to remember why are you resisting. Remember how you want to feel, the candy will only give you a temporary lift.
Drink a glass of water. You may be dehydrated thus drained a bit. By rehydrating you can give yourself a little boost. Plus, it will fill your belly and can trick it for a few minutes.
When tempted to sneak candy, pause, and reflect. Ask yourself:
- Am I seeking sugar to soothe an emotional response?
- Am I bored?
- Is this just a daily habit of wanting something sweet after dinner or at 3 p.m.?
Be mindful of why you are reaching for the treat. Bring awareness to it to determine if this is a symptom of another issue.
Cravings usually only last 10-20 minutes. Tell yourself that you can but not right now. Go and do something to distract yourself for a while. If the craving comes back, try that that one more time. Over time you can retrain your brain and body to not send those signals to your brain at that time of day. And, you’ll be building your willpower muscle.
If you feel your body throwing a fit like a 2-year old for something sweet, make a substitution. Instead of candy, choose a piece of fruit, a smoothie, protein shake, banana with almond butter, or a handful of nuts. Give your body good information not only calories and sugar. Rather than feeling deprived, be mindful of how your nutritious snack makes you feel, how it tastes in your mouth, and how you are making good choices.
Walk and Breathe
Take a short brisk walk to reinvigorate yourself and pump up your energy. This little burst will not only reenergize you, it will your curb cravings. Or, calm your nervous system who is sending those craving signals to your brain with 4-7-8 breath work. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. Take five minutes to center your breathing and get the air down deep in your lungs. Place one hand on your belly and one on your chest. Make sure you are breathing deep into your belly and your shoulders are not rising and falling much. Pull in and pushed out air by the movement of your diaphragm. Breathe in to the count of 4, hold for 7, slowly exhale for a count of 8. This reset your nervous system, clears your mind and helps you make better decisions. Then, choose contentment. Give yourself kudos for resisting or for making a healthier choice.
You can do it! And, your body will thank you!
I help clients decrease the amount of sugar they are consuming. It is so much more than willpower. And, like other addictions, it helps to have accountability. Schedule a free call to see how health coaching could help you kick the habit.