Your Sweet Tooth Survival Guide; How To Have & Enjoy Sugar Correctly
We’ve all watched a friend, actress, or some other freak of nature scarf down a candy bar, milk shake, or burger with the grin of an eight-year-old child—there’s no remorse, just simple guiltless pleasure. And we’ve done it once in a while ourselves, after all, there is NO REASON you shouldn’t enjoy the occasional serving of ice-cream, cake or whatever else makes you happy.
But, having this type of stuff on a daily basis creates bad habits, and even if you aren’t in poor health or in need of getting yourself in better (healthier) shape, poor nutrition habits lead to poor quality body tissue (your muscles, organs, and just about everything else is built by the type of food you eat). Additionally, high amounts of sugar causes inflammation, infections and kills your energy levels (make sure to do your own research here, because there are even more sugar pit-falls, many of which you don’t realize are culprits in the way you live your life).
The other factor with sweets, (like it or not) that looming guilt;
Are you are nervous every time you want to take a bite of or even smell something deemed “high calorie,” “high sugar,” or “high fat.” While you shoudln’t put yourself in sugar prison overtime you have a bite, you should also be aware of the habits you build into your daily life. When you finally give in and have a bowl of ice cream it only takes a few minutes to feel the guilt set in and loom over you for hours, or sometimes, days. On Wednesday, some of you might still be thinking about the ice cream you had Sunday. Over indulgence is as great a crutch in todays society as anything else that keeps our goals down and our dependence up.
*side note If you’ve built a bad habit- theres only one way out: If you think you are stuck in a rut of wanting, craving and having sweets daily in a serving that you know is more then a small piece of chocolate, what I recommend is a 7 day cleanse from sweets. This will literally help you re-set your palate and help your body detach from the daily habit of ice-cream bowls and whole chocolate bars.
Keep in mind that indulgence once in a while is okay and should be enjoyed not stressed over. Food guilt and remorse is typical in today’s society, but just because it’s typical doesn’t mean it’s healthy. However, you can’t take advantage of food. In reality you need to find a healthy balance with the things you put in your body – and often times you need to identify hunger from boarded or routine.
When it comes to sugar cravings, there are a few (11 below) things you can do to minimize the guilt and maximize the success.
My 11 SUGAR & DESSERT RULES FOR SUCCESS
*Followed by 8 No-Guilt Sweet Tooth Recipes
1. If you MUST have a bowl of ice cream—have it!
But, as you learn in any of my home fitness programs like 7-Day Lean and KB Body programs, your “Energy–In vs. Energy–Out” scale must be balanced daily. Be sure your food pairings are correct to trigger the right hormonal and digestive effects.
The answer? Treat the ice cream bowl like a meal. Yep! if you must have it, have it as your lunch or dinner. The worst thing people do is eat an entire meal and then add a super rich, high-calorie serving of food, like ice cream, after eating. If you treat the bowl of ice cream or piece of pie as your meal, you don’t need to feel guilty at all! Calorically you will still be on track and the sweet or fatty indulgence will digest and process through your system better on its own.
2. Habits are key
According to studies, habits build slowly, 21 days to be exact, and die hard, also about 21 days. Creating good habits is vital, but perhaps even more important is not developing bad ones. If you feel yourself slipping into a sugar habit you MUST catch it and stop it. A daily habit of sugar, salt, or greasy foods can add up to 10 to 30 pounds over the course of a year. They can also make you feel dependent, tired, and moody if you indulge on a regular basis. Additionally, a sugar habit can harm your recovery and results post workout!
The answer? Catch habits early and interrupt them by giving yourself another form of satisfaction—workout, go shopping, make a date to watch a movie, or go dancing with the girls… basically get your mind off food and onto something equally rewarding.
3. PRO TIP (water!)
If you must have sweet stuff drink a glass of lemon water before you do! That’s a 7-Day Lean trick. It will help balance out your hormones so that the dessert you have won’t spike your glycemic levels. Another benefit? The water will help you feel satisfied and might even get rid of the craving altogether.
4. Late Night Cravings
If you are craving sugar late at night, floss and brush your teeth. We aren’t kidding! Dasha uses this trick all the time. It helps shift the mental focus and can often rid you of late-night cravings.
5. Fresh Fruit – Not all sugar is created equal
Not all sugar is created equal! No one, and we mean no one, ever got fat from a piece of fruit. So please indulge in fruits, they are healthy and good for you. Our favorite? Satisfy your sweets craving with berries and fat-free whipped cream. The best pairing for fruits is dairy, like all-natural, Greek yogurt.
6. Spotting Sugar Addiction
Beware of sugar addiction, it is very real andmany people don’t even realize that they have it! In fact, studies show that it takes five days to detox from a sugar addiction. So if it’s difficult to stop eating the sweet stuff in the first few days, don’t get down on yourself. Be patient and stay on track by focusing on the greater goal. The 7-Day Lean program has a full sugar, grease, and salt detox built into the first seven days.
7. Go ahead- order dessert
It’s actually okay to have dessert! If you are planning a special date, doing an incredible dinner tasting, or going home for Thanksgiving, don’t worry about the apple pie or tiramisu—enjoy it! The next day make sure to get right back on your healthy routine. The main thing about sweet and greasy foods is to not make a habit out of them.
8. Don’t Stress Over It
The hormones produced from stress often play a huge factor in weight gain. So, if you eat something you think is unhealthy, sweet, or high in calories DO NOT STRESS about it! Once it’s done, it’s done … instead of stressing get moving! Do a scorching workout, maybe from our super efficient Scorcher series program, or go for a walk, then make your next meal green and clean. Think you have no time? Remember to make time for what’s important, and your body is one of the most important things you have. How can you take care of anything else if you aren’t 100% yourself?
9. Mid-day Yum
When you simply MUST have a cupcake or a candy bar mid-day or after a meal, stic to 100- to 150-calorie portions with 16 grams of sugar or less and do not make it a daily habit!
10. Learn to Cook
Get cooking! Just like the saying goes: If you want something done right, you gotta do it yourself! If you have a crazy sweet tooth, learn how to make your favorite treats. Store-bought foods like cookies and brownies will pack on added sugar and calories. Invest in yourself by recreating your favorite foods in healthier ways… Check out
our homemade cookie recipe, pancake recipe, and some other sweet-tooth satisfiers below!
11. Slow & Steady (CHEW!)
Eat slowly and enjoy it! Don’t rush. Don’t eat while walking or in front of the computer at work. If you do plan on indulging, take a time out and enjoy every part of it! This will leave you satisfied.
In the end, your goal should be to find a healthy balance and learn to enjoy, but not depend on, food. In life, and in your daily diet, you have to fight to find a balanced mind, body, and spirit. Never regret your choices, just aim to learn from them and make better ones. When you do choose to indulge in your favorite foods, eat slowly and savor it—no guilt!
Here are a few of my favorite ‘no guilt’ recipes