Worked out all morning, spent the day downtown walking in the heat and enjoyed my boyfriends company. I had a healthy salad for dinner, got some work done and then an urge for a snack occurred in my brain. Peanut M&Ms called my name. I opened the small snack size bag to treat myself. I ate one M&M and immediately regretted it. The rest were thrown away. The taste was almost poisonous. How did I train my body to get to this state? It sure wasn’t easy and I most definitely was not born this way.
I was the typical kid growing up. Always eating, growing and wanting sweet treats after dinner. Actually, wanting sweet treats all of the time. But I definitely was not a healthy eater. Coming home from school, I’d eat a bag of Doritos, a diet coke, and ramen noodles. Yes, I said a BAG of Doritos. All before dinner too! Sometimes, it would be more than that. No matter the time of day, I always wanted food. Fast food, pop, candy, and junk. Never ate vegetables, would eat fruit occasionally, and only ate healthy foods when made for me.
When I started eating healthy, the cravings for sweets became insane. I would crave ice cream and chocolate 24/7, day in and day out. Even though the treats I ate were gluten/grain free, I would eat massive amounts, aka unhealthy for myself. I realized my goals weren’t being achieved and I needed to do something about this.
I cut sugar and sweets cold turkey. No more chocolate, candy or ice cream. I noticed a huge difference. Soon after though, I came to realization, I need to treat myself at some point during the day, but only once, and a small portion.
With this mindset, I began to use sweet “treats” as a tool for rewarding myself. If I slummed around all day, including my productivity level, or no workout, then I didn’t get a treat. My brain knew I didn’t deserve it, therefore my body didn’t crave it. I’ll eat 85%-100% dark chocolate, or dairy free (low carb) ice cream. I’ll indulge in this kind of sugar. The dark chocolate has health benefits and ice cream like Halo Top has protein (nutrients) that can support the work I put into my body. But this is not a day to day thing. My body can’t handle that. I do give myself healthy alternative ice cream and dark chocolate every once in a while. Nothing about sugary candy is good for you, and for that very reason, I do not put that into my body. On occasion, I will treat myself to a cup of real ice cream, with real sugar, or milk chocolate.
But we all know, our body works differently everyday and cravings occur randomly. How do you deal with sugar rushes?
You take that treat of yours, look it in the eye and say “Are you good for me?”. This makes me think about my reward system. I like to fuel my body with health rewarding tools. My body works so hard during workouts, I am not going to feed it with crap that will degrade my physique and health progress. I work way too hard in the gym to put junk in my body. My body doesn’t deserve that. So if that treat of yours is going to make you sick, ruin your hard work or make you regret eating it… don’t eat it.
Quick Tip: Watch baking videos, like Tasty, or Youtubers baking cakes and goodies. Even finding healthy alternatives on Pinterest has helped me change up my treats without changing up my health routine.
The last piece of advice I give you about sweet treats is that your body can be easily trained not to crave these things. If you crave chocolate, make a low carb chocolate protein shake. If you are craving candy, have a piece of fruit. Yes, this still contains sugar, but natural sugars. Substitution is key. My favorite substitute is a seltzer water or a cup of tea. To this day, I crave unsweetened things, and when you reach this mindset, it’s a power most people can’t achieve. My boyfriends exact words are “You have such a bitter palette”. Work your body hard and your brain harder. You are the only thing in the way of your goals.