Who stole the cookie from the cookie jar? You stole the cookie from the cookie jar. Who, me? Yes, you! Couldn’t be! Then who?
This popular children’s song brings up a great point – over 80% of people surveyed find themselves reaching for sweets and not even realizing it. Too much sugar can lead to digestive issues, blood sugar imbalances, fatigue, weight gain and even diabetes.
There may be a reason why you “feel” the need to have sugar. But don’t fret – there are steps you can take to start taking control of your sugar cravings.
Sugar occurs naturally in carbs. Sugar – glucose – is found in all carbs. This means even veggies have sugar, or glucose, from the carbs.
While yes, a carb is a carb, there is a big difference how quickly our body absorbs the sugar/carbs based on the type of carb it is. For instance, a carbohydrate that is more fibrous (veggies and whole grains) is digested slower than those found in refined carbs (man made) foods such as sodas, candies, and ice cream.
For example, a gande crème brule latté can have at least 52 grams of sugar with no fiber and 430 calories. An apple has 19 grams of sugar with 4.4 grams of fiber and 90 calories. A serving of broccoli has 2.5 grams of sugar, 3.8 grams of fiber and only 50 calories. While these are just a few examples, you can clearly see the impact your choices can have if you are not mindful of your sugar intake.
We know that sugary drinks are high in calories. We also know not to reach for the cookies. BUT we still do! Why? There are a number of reasons you may find yourself drinking or eating something sugary when you should not.
Here are some reasons and ways to overcome these obstacles.
- You’re depriving yourself in your life. Often times we reach for something sweet to fill a void in our life. We subconsciously feel that the sweetness of the food will help us feel better. However, most of us realize ` the carton of ice cream, this is not the case. If this is you, I suggest you keep the sweet treats out of your house. If they are in your house, before you eat the treat, write down what you’re getting ready to eat and why. This pause may be all you need to stop from over indulging. You can also brush your teeth to cleanse your palette of the sweet craving.
- You don’t have anything else to eat. Not being prepared is a big reason a number of people don’t stay on track. Make sure you make a list before going to the grocery store and stick to the list. If you’re out and about, make sure you pack healthy snacks (nuts, protein shakes, protein bars, unsweetened dried fruit, apples, turkey jerky and pretzels are just a few examples). If you find yourself stealing candy off a coworkers desk, pull out your prepared snacks instead!
- You want a reward and feel you are entitled to something sweet. I’m not saying you should never have sweets, but just plan them and eat them in moderation. Instead of food as a reward, you can save up for a massage, manicure, pedicure, new clothes, or other tangible items that do not have a calorie count!
So the next time someone asks “Who stole the cookie?” you can honestly answer that it was not you or if it indeed was you, you mindfully ate the treat and you had self-control to indulge in moderation. Again, sweet treats aren’t something you must eliminate, but if you cannot control your sweet tooth and how much you eat, you may need to abstain all together. Being aware of your sugar intake from all avenues is the first step to moderating your sweet tooth!
About the Author
Scott Keppel is the owner of Scott’s Training Systems, a world-class coaching facility in Chandler, Arizona. He is a nationally certified trainer through NASM and ISSA. His mission is to empower women of all ages and fitness levels.