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How to Adopt a New Mind-Set to Fight Sugar Addiction

Any aspect of your life — your body, your relationships, your friendships, your attitudes — is strongly influenced by what you do most of the time. Whatever is “normal” for you yields a certain result. If you want to change some part of your life, you have to change what you usually do. You have to create a new normal.

The goal of any successful eating plan is to create a healthy, sustainable normal so that you’re never on a diet or on a special plan; you just do things differently from how you used to do them. Improve your normal, and eating well will soon be just something that you usually do.

For many people, mindful eating seems to be one of the most challenging parts of revamping an eating plan, so you should expect to put some extra effort and attention into eating on purpose instead of reactively.

When you find yourself craving something sweet (or when you have the urge for late-night snacking), check in with yourself to see whether food is what you’re really after. Are you thirsty? Are you bored? Are you lonely or sad about something?

You may find that you’ve established a habit of wanting something sweet anytime you feel anything! If you take a moment to acknowledge your true physical and emotional state when you think you want something, that habit isn’t difficult to break.

One more important thing to investigate for your new mind-set: You have to start looking at how you view food.

  • Do you view food as your friend (maybe your only friend)? Your enemy?

  • Do you use food as a reward? How about as a substitute for affection or mental stimulation? Have you been medicating yourself with sugar?

Here’s your new mind-set: Food is nourishment. It’s fuel for your body. You truly are what you eat. You need to start seeing food as that, and only that. Sure, eating has a social aspect, and the very act of eating can and should be an enjoyable and satisfying experience.

But when you create stories in your subconscious mind about what food means to you, and when you use it as an unhealthy substitute for something else you need, it begins to hold a dangerous power.

Spend some time thinking about what stories you may be making up about sugar. For example, if you find yourself feeling overwhelmed and stressed, you may be telling yourself, “If I eat the rest of that ice cream, I will feel more peaceful and in control of my life.”

Huh? How can this possibly be true? When you come across a story you’ve been telling yourself about sugar, ask yourself, “Is this true?” Probably not — and hopefully you’ll get a good laugh at the absurdity of the story, too!

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