Seeking sugar-free solutions

ASK L.K. – Because life can get a little messy

By L.K. ELLIOTT, Connect Columnist

DEAR L.K. – Due to health concerns, my doctor has told me I need to go on a healthier diet, avoiding sugary foods especially. I feel like this should be easy to do, but I really struggle with it. I’m already dreading Halloween because I know I’ll be bombarded by temptation and I don’t know how I can make this lifestyle change without feeling deprived all the time. Any suggestions?                                                                                                    

  Junk Food Junkie

DEAR JUNK FOOD JUNKIE:

The first step to kicking sugar is recognizing that your cravings for it are physical, emotional and mental. You must focus on all three to successfully change your lifestyle. Your willpower is like a muscle: it may be weak now, but the more you say no to your cravings, the stronger it will become.

Nothing is more important than your health, so recognize that your body will physically crave sugar, but you are ultimately in control of whether or not you give into those cravings. If we begin to limit our sugar intake, our body will naturally detoxify and we will begin to crave it less. When you are feeling a sugar craving, rather than reaching for refined white sugars that boost insulin levels quickly, instead reach for a piece of fruit which offer fibre to slow down the digestion of the sugar, which will limit the insulin spike and lessen the inevitable “sugar crash”.

Our eating habits are often a cover-up for emotions we are avoiding, so if we can identify what is triggering these cravings, we can substitute the sugar with a healthier habit such as going for a brisk walk, journaling, or talking to a friend.

Emotionally you must begin to recognize when and why you are experiencing sugar cravings. Our eating habits are often a cover-up for emotions we are avoiding, so if we can identify what is triggering these cravings, we can substitute the sugar with a healthier habit such as going for a brisk walk, journaling, or talking to a friend.

You need to create a more inspiring story to push you through moments of weakness. Rather than “because the Doctor said so” try “I want to be healthier so I can live long enough to watch my children grow into adults and raise their own families”. Do you see how that might inspire you more?

Sugar dependency is often something we have experienced throughout our entire lives, and it can be difficult to let go of. I have personally struggled in this area. I was willing to try anything to create a shift in my mind to change my mental patterns towards sugar.

I heard about Fort McMurray Hypnotherapy on the radio talking about quitting smoking, and I wondered “could this work for sugar dependency too?” I booked an appointment and went in with an open mind. I honestly haven’t touched sugar since, and with the right attitude I think it could really benefit your journey as well.

Perception is everything: so stay positive, focus on all you have to gain with this lifestyle change, and forgive yourself quickly if you have a momentary lapse of judgement. And repeat this mantra as often as needed: “I want freedom from sugar MORE than I want that sugar!”

Sincerely, L.K.

Have a question for L.K., send them to her directly on social media at Instagram: @lk.elliott and Twitter: @lkelliott_

– Connect Weekly –