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The Extremists

While I have a few friends who are adepts at “Cold-Turkey” methods of quitting bad habits, I am not one of them. When I quit smoking, it took 3 years of pretend quitting, about 15 packs of cigarettes w/ 1 smoked, and the rest under water, and bumming approximately 30 cigarettes from strangers in bars before a $75 bet sealed the deal for me. (Thanks to my excellent friend Hoff for that!).

Ok so I like to do a quick scan of extremist measures and pull out tips I can actually do.  When dealing w/ extremist writing, i like to skip past stuff like “It’s sooo hard, but sooo worth it.” “and you MUST eliminate this everyday thing becuase it’s evil”

Doing this causes the beginning of a two-step process in me.

  1. The “No-Fun” General – She’s a JERK. And if we were to go into battle, she’d actually be very ineffective b/c all she knows is we can’t have sugar or we’re good for nothing. Also she’s annoying.  She can quote you a million statistics on the amount of sugar/caffeine/nictoine consumed in a day, she will not hear of giving any ground to the “enemy” and she has no common sense.
  2. The Class Clown – Underneath all that pious stuff my cheating, fun-loving, wisecracking self is repressed, and lying in wait.  Eventually this clever part of my psyche will rise up, bake a million little cakes, buy a bunch of ice cream and several hundred bags of M&M’s and go to town.
  3. Repeat 1 and 2 until the cravings subside and we have beat down the addiction.

I reject this cycle. I’m going to just skip it, and go for a plan to step down gently but firmly over the course of several days and months.

An extremist article on “getting off the sugar” contains a lot of stuff I don’t want.  Use sweeteners to manage cravings (no), quitting forever “is the only way” (hardly).

BUT!

Under “Ways to Stop Sugar Cravings”- there are fantastic tips, and things that I am already working on to support the healthier lifestyle i also CRAVE and I can actually DO these without declaring a war.

  • Drink More Water: If you are a sugar addict, it’s possible you do not drink enough water. Drink at least 3 glasses of water each day with no sweeteners or flavorings. Just plain delicious water!
  • Eat More Vegetables: The more veggies you eat, the less likely you will be tempted to go to sugary foods. It will also occupy you long enough to hopefully get through the sugar craving.
  • Find replacement habits: Eating sugar can be as much about a habit as an actual desire to eat it.  If you chew on candy to calm nerves, try chewing gum or something else.  If you stir sugar into your coffee, try just stirring your coffee to keep the habit.  If sugar is the point then try doing something completely unrelated to eating – go for a walk or do something active.
  • Get enough rest: Sugar affects your blood sugar levels, which affect your energy levels. If you aren’t sleeping enough then you might be tired and craving sugar that will give you a quick energy boost.  Get enough sleep in order to stop cravings caused by lack of sleep.
  • Identify and avoid triggers: Figuring out what triggers sugar cravings can help you avoid them.  When you find out whether lack of sleep, boredom, depression, habit, stress, etc. is causing your cravings you can then fix the triggers so that you can stop the cravings.
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