I’ll make this one short, because I’m not a dietitian, and I don’t even play one on TV. I’ve written about before, that I’ve never drank alchohol. Couldn’t even tell you what it tastes like. I’ve never done any drugs… no pot ever… I even hate taking asprin.
However, sweets and other simple carbs have been my drug over the years. From birth through my teens and even 20’s my metabolsim was crazy… still is in a way coming up on 40. Therefore, I rarely phyiscally saw the consquences of chowing down sweets like it was going out of style.
The trouble is that in today’s culture, sweets and simple carbs are everywhere. They are a staple of our national diet. Did you know that in 10 years 33% of children will be obese. That is one third, one out of three. Not a little overweight, but sickly overweight. Can’t go up a flight of stairs without going out of breath. For adults, it is abroaching 50%. Wow – That’s half.
I don’t doubt your math skills, I just want to reiterate how insane this is. Although lack of exercise and increased technology is somewhat to blame, diet practices are the main culperates. Because I don’t know you personally, or your diet from day to day, I’m guessing you’re like the average American. You eat out 20-40% of your meals as a minimum, snack on chips, and have at least 5-10 overportioned sweets per week (2-3 scoops of ice cream in a sitting, supersized drink, “king sized” candy bar, doughnut for breakfast, etc.). For others of you it might be 15-20 of these per week.
If you’re average or above average with the examples above, it is too much. I know it might not seem like it, but it is. It is common, so it is normal. Supersizing a meal seems like a good finacial decision, not a bad health option. That is how “normal” it has become. 33% more on our King sized Snickers seems like we’ve lucked out visiting the convient store on that day, instead of realizing 25-50% of a regular bar would “satisfy” (as the commercials proclaim).
I would encourage you to purge this area of your life, even if it is just for a week. How? I think there are two steps: Portion control and an all out fast. Portion control has you cut every sweet or simple carb you eat in half for the entire week. Half a cookie, half size of the drink you get, half a piece of cake, half a dinner roll, etc. This is doable for me, and Monday-Friday it is usually my practice now.
If you want to move up to the big leagues, take all sweets and simple carbs out of your diet the entire week. I would suggest to do the portion control the week before before going cold turkey, but that is up to you. Here are some things to do when you feel the urge to have your “normal” sweet or simple carb:
1. Drink a glass of water instead to fill your stomach. Hydrating yourself has so many other benefits, but you won’t care about those on the surface. You’ll just want your tummy filled, and this will help.
2. Take 10-30 deep, very deep breaths. I know, seems stupid, but your body needs oxygen more than anything, so give it more. You’ll find out giving your body more oxygen helps the hunger, and relaxes you, as many times we grab food to de-stress us.
3. Exchange out the sweets for eating or trying a new vegtable each day. Cucumbers on Monday, Carrots all day Tuesday, Celery on Wednesdays, Lima Beans on Thursday, when you figure out you don’t like Friday’s exotic choice of Cassavas or Yucas, run to the store before work and buy enough Cale, Broccolli or Cabage to get you through the weekend.
Telling you how you’ll feel through writing won’t do its justice, and I’m not going to lie to you and say it is easy. You might get a headache (drink more water and exercise lightly to get rid of them), and a little crabby the first couple days (go for a walk and list 20 things you’re grateful for, or help three people that day miscellaneously, for no good reason)… but they side effects will go away.
Purging these “regular” things which have become normal will show you first that you don’t need them, and at the very least show you that you don’t need them as much.