Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Taming Your Sweet Tooth

Before I had kids, I didn't have much of a sweet tooth. I mean, don't get me wrong, I liked a chocolate chip cookie as much as the next guy, but I never craved sweets.
Post kids, holy cow, GIVE ME ALL THE OREOS, CHEESECAKES, MUFFINS, COOKIES, M&M'S, CHOCOLATE MILK, DONUTS, AND CANDY BARS. Seriously, I can't get enough. I know that sugar is highly addictive and I think I am "there". It's been hard to break the cycle, because I really do crave this stuff now. It started almost as soon as my oldest was born, and has been going on ever since. I once read an article about high correlation between sugar cravings and lactating mothers. Not sure if it's true, but for me it seemed to be. It didn't really die down after I stopped breastfeeding either, but I guess by then I was highly addicted.
Aaaanyway. I thought I'd share a few things that have been helping me curb the cravings and tame the crazy sweet tooth I have going on.

Get busy. When I'm craving sweets, the craving will usually go away pretty quickly if I get busy doing something and get my mind off of it. Taking my kids to another room to play, doing some house chores, going on a walk, etc.

Drink water. Drinking water will sometimes satisfy me. Not in the same way a Milky Way would obviously, but it'll get rid of my thirst which makes me not feel as desperate for sweets. I'm not sure if it makes sense, but it lessens the intense cravings sometimes.

Replace it. I feel like for me, the time I want something sweet the most is just after I've eaten. It's like I need to "finish it off" with something sweet. Just a little something to get that sweetness onto my lips. So I've started replacing it with a little fruit. After a meal if I'm craving sweets, I'll eat a small clementine, or a small handful of grapes. They're just sweet enough that it usually does the trick. Again, not the same as a handful of chocolate chips, but it works.

Chew gum. It keeps my mouth busy and makes me forget about the craving.

Brush your teeth. Usually I don't want to eat something just after I've brushed my teeth. Especially not something full of sugar. By the time I feel like eating after I've brushed, the craving is gone.

Set a limit. I'm not one of those 'everything in moderation' type people. If I have one oreo, I want another, and another, until I've eaten half the pack. BUT depriving myself also doesn't work. The minute I tell myself I "can't" have something, it's all I want. So I set a limit before I start, then do something immediately to keep myself from getting more. For example, after church I might allow myself one cookie. So I take my one cookie, walk away from the refreshment table, and find someone to chat with. I'm not going to excuse myself from the conversation to go get another cookie...that would be rude and embarrassing, so I'll stop with the one. Another example: I'll grab a handful of chocolate chips, put the bag away, and go to another room to eat them. Then I brush my teeth when I'm done so I'm not tempted to get another handful.

Anyone else have a crazy bad sweet tooth? What do you do to tame it?
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