How to stop your sugar cravings (in a surprising way).

How to stop your sugar cravings (in a surprising way).

Are you constantly craving chocolate, sweets or refined carbohydrates, such as pasta, bread or potato chips? Once you start eating is it hard stop? Read on and I’ll explain why you crave it and how to stop sugar cravings.

Stop sugar cravings (in a surprising way)

First of all, I know the struggle with sugar well. I was a compulsive sugar “addict” for over 15 years.

I battled with an eating disorder and other mental health issues such as Bulimia, depression, body dysmorphia, and Binge Eating Disorder (BED).

If you struggle with sugar cravings, it’s understandable that you would try to control it through willpower and abstinence. However, abstinence is not the answer.

Brute force detoxing simply does not work.

That type of approach only has short-term success and almost always triggers a relapse after 30 days (or less).

This creates more stress, anxiety, frustration, and self blame; which incidentally increases the cravings and how you respond to the cravings when they come on.

stop sugar cravings

I know so many of you FEEL addicted to sugar. However, just because you ‘feel’ addicted, doesn’t mean you are PHYSICALLY addicted.

When you are physically addicted to a substance it’s dangerous and potentially life-threatening to withdraw from. Alcohol withdraw can kill you. However, we don’t get life-threatening symptoms when we stop eating sugar.

So with that in mind it’s crucial to mention that sugar isn’t inherently “bad”. Like most things, the poison is in the dose.

Just about all the information out there on sugar suggests it’s addictive, disease-causing and should, therefore, be heavily restricted.

However, demonizing sugar (or any food) puts it on a pedalstool and gives it power.

We say it’s forbidden and it must be detoxed and cleansed from our bodies. Like it’s the devil or something…

But this is not neccessary. We need to find the middle ground.

So why do you crave it?

Restriction has been shown to be the number one cause of binge eating. Binge eating is not ‘caused’ by any addictive ingredients in foods, it’s caused by our body sending signals that it wants something that it has been denied, so it ‘goes all in’ for it when it does become available.

A classic example of all or nothing eating.

If you’re looking for help with sugar, here are some tips to begin your journey:

1. Keep blood sugar levels balanced by eating enough and regularly

2. Don’t restrict sugar. No sugar diets/detoxes or cleanses (these are the problem, not the solution).

3. Learn to eat sugar mindfully as part of a balaned diet

4. Find ways to move your body you enjoy

5. Don’t replace sugar with fake sugar (artificial sweeteners)

6. Take weight loss out of the equation

7. Observe your body and sensations when eating sugar

8. Be kind to yourself (no shame or guilt during or after eating)

9.Tomorrow is a new day to start fresh

This is a deeply nuanced concept and of course will require far more than one blog post to master it.

The point here is to help you see there can be freedom and peace around sugar. You’re are not addicted, but you could be responding to restriction.

Today I eat sweet foods, but not nearly as much as I used to eat when I was trying to restrict it and avoid it and eat less of it.

Believe it or not, sweet things can actually sit in my kitchen cupboard and I forget about them. When I was trying to restrict it they wouldn’t last a day.

The key is to eat something when you crave it and the craving will go away. It takes practice. But it is possible to eat something sweet and then move on. End of story. No binge. 

And you can do it too!

Be compassionate with yourself. Sugar can be a hard beast to slay, but when you remember it’s just sugar, you can win your power back, one day at a time and stop sugar cravings.

Struggling with sugar? Let’s chat. Book a call here and we’ll figure out a plan to get you back in control with it.

 

kelly renee eating behaviour coach

 

How to Stop Overeating on the Weekends

How to Stop Overeating on the Weekends

Feel like you overindulged or ate too much over weekend? The weekends can be tough in the eating department for a lot of women. Read on to hear why you’re likely overeating and what you can do to stop overeating on the weekends.

Stop overeating on the weekends

 

Does this look familiar?

Your eating is “good” all week.

Your eating is “bad” over the weekends.

For many women who struggle with chronic dieting and disordered eating patterns, the weekends are the only time they allow themselves to loosen the reigns on their food rules. Sadly for many, this is their one and only food highlight of the week.

Consequently, overindulging in a food item that you restrict is common if you are a chronic dieter. This is called:

Deprivation backlash-rebound eating.

Here’s a common scenario: you deprive yourself of a certain food, such as chocolate because you are on a diet and you are not allowed to have chocolate on a diet, right?

Then an old friend comes to visit and brings you a box of chocolates. You put them away vowing you will not open it. A family member spots the chocolate, opens the box and now what do you do?

Hmmm, I’ll just have one, really, only one.

But suddenly you’ve had more than one, and at this point you think, you may as well finish the box because you promise yourself you won’t have chocolate ever again. You truly believe that you won’t. Yet, now feel guilty and as a punishment you skip dinner only to find yourself bingeing into the evening.

The above scenario is one example of the backlash that happens when you deprive yourself of a food. You rebound by eating, and overeating. And as every over-eater knows, the fun of a runaway indulgence comes with a hefty price tag.

The consequences

 

You feel physically uncomfortable, bloated, perhaps even sick to your stomach. Mentally you beat yourself up. You without a doubt feel guilt, shame and anger at yourself for not having more self-control and willpower.

Overeating on the weekends can sabotage your health and wellness goals, as weight fluctuations are an inevitable part of binge eating. 

How to Break The Cycle of Weekend Overeating

 

No more food rules = no more dieting

Dieting tells you:

  • what you can and can’t eat,
  • when you can or can’t eat it,
  • how you can or can’t eat it, and/or
  • how much you can or can’t have

These rules take up an awful lot of brain space and they don’t leave any room for flexibility or…life. They also set you up for dis-inhibition… aka the “stuff it effect!”.

stop overeating on the weekends

The “Stuff it Effect!”

 

Here’s how the “stuff it effect!” works:

Let’s say your #1 Food Rule is – I Don’t Eat Carbs. No croutons on the salad, won’t touch a sandwich, hold the potatoes with your roast and no rice with your curry.

In your world, carbs are “bad”.

But this weekend, you find yourself out with friends, and everyone’s having pizza. You hold out for a bit. Finally, you give in and grab a slice.

Then all of sudden, you’ve “blown your diet”, so you may as well keep eating. Cue the binge and uncomfortable physical and emotional after effects.

Eating by the rules almost always leads to overeating (eventually), because once you deviate, there’s nothing left to guide you and you can only deny yourself carbs for so long.

The Solution: Ditch the diet and reconnect with your body.

Intuitive eating is a philosophy of eating that makes you the expert of your body and its hunger signals.

Essentially, it is the opposite of a traditional diet.

Intuitive eating doesn’t impose guidelines about what or when to eat, or what to avoid. Instead, it teaches that you are the best person to make those choices with enough practice.

Non-dieters (or so-called “normal eaters”) eat when they’re physically hungry and stop when they’re physically full, no matter if it’s a Wednesday or a Saturday, morning or evening, work lunch or happy hour.

It’s called Intuitive Eating and we’re all born natural intuitive eaters.

Its an approach developed to help people heal from the side effects of chronic dieting. Dieting and diet culture has thrown our inner intuitive eating compasses out of whack and we no longer trust our bodies to tell us when we should eat.

Initial studies of intuitive eating have found that “intuitive eaters” have a decrease in weight, thin idealisation, and triglycerides, and an increase in well-being, good cholesterol, and self-esteem. However, intuitive eating is a practice, not a magic pill. It can take anywhere from a couple months to a couple of years to master, depending on how long you have been dieting for.

If this is you, start by paying attention to your own food rules and responses. When and where are you likely to say, “Stuff it!?”

What might happen if you let go of that rule and really tuned in to your physical hunger and fullness cues and ate when hungry and stopped when you were satisfied?

What if you ate a slice or three of pizza on Tuesday night and your world didn’t fall apart?…

Here’s where to start.

Ask yourself: Is dieting working for you?

 

If you’re loving your guilt ridden, weekend rebound eating and you’re happy with the results, keep doing it. However, if this is not working for you, it could be time to investigate other options.

Perhaps it’s time to try different, not harder. You only have to look back on how many failed diet attempts you have had to tell something is not working.

Ask yourself:

What does weekend overeating do for me?

What does it enable me to achieve or feel?

Does it solve my problem or does it serve a purpose for me?

Past clients tell me that weekend overeating is self-medication for stress, or for stimulation and novelty. Because they were essentially starving themselves of both food and pleasure during the week, thanks to strict dieting.

Please re-read those last two sentences.

overeating on the weekends

What else can I do?

 

Over ate Saturday night? No problem, wake up Sunday morning and start again. Don’t try to compensate and start restricting.

Drink a big glass of lemon water in the morning. Get out and go for a walk in the fresh air and sun. Eat some fruit and veg (particularly leafy greens, broccoli and cauliflower). Get an early night on Sunday.

Moreover, aim for “good enough” instead of “perfect” eating. There really is no such thing as perfect eating or one perfect diet. Aiming for perfection is contributing to the problem. There needs to be some flexibility.

When you let go of dieting and weekday (Monday-Friday) food rules and restriction, the overeating on the weekends cycle breaks.

No more deprivation. No more rebound overeating. No more guilt. The cycle stops.

By doing this you put yourself in the best possible position to improve your health; physically and mentally. AND your weight eventually stabilises in it’s happy, balanced place.

Eating doesn’t need to be this difficult.

It’s time for you to make peace with food and your body, so you can once and for all stop the dieting cycle. If you need help to stop overeating on the weekends, please don’t hesitate to contact me here>>

kelly renee eating behaviour coach