Monday, April 5, 2010

Sweet tooth

This week I'm going to blog about something many of us cite as a struggle...avoiding sweets! Most of us could use a little help getting our inner cookie monster under control.

Throughout the week, I'm going to discuss 3 approaches to keeping our intake of sweets, desserts, and sugary foods under control. But first, here are some good practices we need to follow to avoid a "struggle" in the first place.

  • · Stay hydrated: drink plenty of water throughout the day. Eight 8-ounce glasses (64 ounces total) is a good starting point. You may need more if you exercise strenuously or spend a lot of time in the heat. Your body will sometimes confuse hunger and dehydration - especially hunger for sweets!
  • · Don’t let yourself get too hungry: eat small meals every 3-4 hours. When you get too hungry, your ability to make wise, nutritious food choices is compromised. Your body may also be more desperate for some quick energy - sugar.
  • · Get enough sleep. When your body is tired, it may crave energy and a quick pick-me-up in any form it can get it; again - sugar! Try to get sufficient sleep for YOUR body every night (anywhere from 7-9 hours depending on your personal needs). If possible, take a quick 20-minute power nap during the day when your energy lags vs. using caffeine or food.
  • · Recognize and deal with stress. When you find yourself thinking, "I have got to have ___(chocolate, cookie, brownie, etc)!", ask yourself - why? Did something stressful just happen? Are you in the middle of a consuming project? Did you just have an unpleasant conversation with someone? Don't use food to numb or pacify your emotional needs and stress!
Do you see any of these points above contributing to your cravings for sweets? If so, what can you do to address them?

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