A Sugar-Free Diet, And Why “Diet” Isn’t The Best Word
“I’m going on a diet.”
“I just blew my diet.”
“I have to start my diet again.”
“I’m swearing off sweets and starting a no-sugar diet.”
When I say the word “diet,” I start to think of failure, restriction, suffering, failure, hunger pains, craving sweets, and failure. Did I mention failure?
We’re back to that word again. Failure. if you are early in your Sugar-zen journey, you may not necessarily be swearing off sweets yet. Just take notice of them. Try to “step outside yourself” a bit and observe. Do you tend to eat sweets when you’re depressed? Anxious? Happy? Sad? For dessert after every meal?
The “No-Sugar Diet” that’s not a diet at all.
Right now it’s best to continue working on changing the way we think about ourselves and a “sugar-free diet.” Rather than using the dreaded word “diet,” start thinking about a shift in eating habits to something that’s healthier. Some people continually fail when they try to “go cold turkey” with a no-sugar diet. Try starting with simply noticing when you’re absentmindedly reaching for some candy or a soda. Step one of a no-sugar diet may be as simple as grabbing something else to eat on those sugar-craving occasions. For some people, like me, it’s easier to cut out all of the white sugar at once rather than trying to do it gradually. I’m not good at “gradually.” I find that “cutting back” turns to “eating as many sweets as usual” and often on to “eating more sweets than usual.” You know yourself and what works best, or hasn’t worked. Try changing things up a bit.
What does a sugar-free diet mean to me?
Sugary sweets can be addictive and difficult to give up. One question I ask myself is… “Just how sugar-free should I be? Does a no-sugar diet really mean NO sugar, in any form?” Some foods are a no-brainer, like a candy bar or–my greatest vice, even after the holidays–holiday treats. But plenty of other foods, like fruits and dairy, contain natural sugar. Eating healthy doesn’t mean we have to swear off fruit and dairy.
Healthy eating can be your friend.
Healthy food is still healthy food, even if it comes with a bit of natural sugar. And, the fiber in fruit slows down the body’s digestion of sugar, and helps us feel full. Whereas the processed stuff floats right on through, loaded with empty, not-so-helpful calories. Remember, we aren’t calling this a “sugar-free diet.” We aren’t bracing for failure. We’re just going to eat better.