Our modern world is saturated with all things sweet and the guilt that accompanies eating them. If you are looking for how to eat less sugar while keeping a smile on your face– this post is for you.
Do you secretly look forward to the bowls of Halloween candy or Easter chocolates scattered across the office or stowed away in your children’s pumpkins and baskets and yet… you dread it at the same time?
You love the creamy sweetness that feels like a 90-second vacation away from all life’s chaos. You vow to eat “just one piece” of your favorite chocolate, but then find yourself gobbling them all up as if you were dressed up as a Halloween gremlin yourself.
My friend, you are not alone.
Here we find a common scene that plays out in houses across America… Moms who ask Dr. Google how to eat less sugar as they battle moderation with their beloved sweets.
…if you’re addicted to sugar?
…if you’ve lost all your self-control?
…or if your kids will notice their disappearing treats.
In my life and in coaching hundreds of women, I have learned that it’s NOT about the SUGAR or the CANDY– it’s how we THINK about them.
While you may feel better avoiding some sweets as you search for how to eat less sugar, it is still very important (dare I say essential) to examine your thought process when it comes to candy, cookies, and triple chocolate brownies.
Here I will share 5 tips to help you enjoy less sugar more (catch that?) by changing the way you think about and interact with all things sweet.
5 Tips to Eat Less Sugar (With a Smile)
1. Drop the Sugar Labels
Watch out for labeling sugar as bad food or something you shouldn’t eat. As hard as it may be to believe, sugar and candy in of themselves aren’t “bad.”
Sure, sugar is MUCH less nutritious than the foods you want to eat on a daily basis. But, a piece (or pile) of candy eaten in isolation isn’t going to destroy your health. It’s repeated, unbalanced eating that leads to health problems.
It’s restricting foods that tends to lead to its overconsumption. You feel bad for eating it, chock the day up to a failure, and get your fill today because tomorrow, surely you won’t eat “it” anymore.
It’s that type of thinking that leads to eating more than we actually want to or even enjoy. Isn’t that sad?
Drop the labels and take it at face value- candy is just another type of food.
2. Remember That Sugar is Not Going Away
Remember that the sugary sweets aren’t going anywhere. And, even if you polish off every last piece of brightly colored chocolate in the house or send the remaining pieces to a faraway land– there will still be candy on every street corner.
Let that abundance speak peace to you.
If I demanded that you eat a handful of your favorite sweet every day, at every meal, eventually it would lose its allure and you’d start to eat less sugar.
It’s thoughts of deprivation that heighten certain foods in our mind. Comfort yourself with the fact that there is no shortage of candy coming anytime soon.
3. Embrace Your Freedom of Choice
Remember the freedom of choice. Even though some celebrity nutritionist says you shouldn’t eat any sugar, you are free to eat as much candy as you want.
I know, that sounds ridiculous but think about it… no one can make us stop eating candy. We are adults. We have money and cars and we can go buy more candy anytime we want.
When we take the restrictive lenses away and think about what we really want, we’re better positioned to decide what that is. It may be one piece, it may be five. But the choice– it’s up to you.
4. Drop the All-or-Nothing Sugar Thinking
Let’s say you’re learning how to eat less sugar but, “oops, you did it again…” You ate a bit more candy than you’d planned. While it does feel emotional and frustrating at the moment, watch for those negative thoughts that reprimand you for “blowing it.”
All-or-nothing eating, it does you no good.
We all eat more than we’d like from time to time. What separates those who keep moving towards their goals and those who stay stuck is the ability to compartmentalize that moment and move on.
To be honest, waiting until tomorrow to start fresh will only prolong your suffering by adding on more calories and regret. Be honest with yourself and make a new choice, at any moment.
5. Rehearse How to Eat Less Sugar
Paint a mental picture of how you’d like to see yourself enjoying sweets. For most of us, those treats would be our most favorite ones. They’d be savored and eaten with a level of consciousness not found hiding in the pantry.
Can you implement that now? You know, fake it ’til you make it?
Today that may mean going with a gentle plan of how much candy you’d like to enjoy. You’d practice really tasting sugar when you do have it, passing on those less-than-chart-topping sweets.
If you find yourself slipping back into old habits, simply refresh that mental image and hit the reset button. Take a look at the clock and give yourself a fresh start.
How to Eat Less Sugar: Get a Plan
As you can see, how we think about all things sweet can flavor our approach to them. Rather than feeling stuck in a cycle of overindulgence, consider changing up how you think about candy and treats. Then, unpack that mental baggage so that it doesn’t hinder your mindful enjoyment of them.
What To Do:
- Set a timer for 10 minutes and journal how your thinking may be hindering your efforts to eat less sugar.
- Review the 5 steps above and choose the ONE that resonates most with you.
- Write out 3 possible new thoughts you can start rehearsing today.
- Check out the Healthy Habit Goal Setting Planner. This planner will help you change your thinking and walk you through how to implement your next best steps.
Brandice Lardner is a Certified Personal Trainer, Nutrition Coach, Author, Amazon #1 Best Selling Author, and Jesus Girl whose mission in life is to help women ditch the diet mentality and find peace with food and their bodies so that they are better equipped to do the great things God has called them to do.