Need a Candy Fix?

Do you fall prey to all the Halloween sugar around?  Is this good for you or your kids or your inner child?  Well, I’m sure you know what I’m going to say.  No, it’s not good for anyone. If you are thinking that – “I’ll just a have few – that won’t hurt…” and then find your hand reaching endlessly into your child’s Trick or Treat Bag – well this is precisely why it’s not good.  Sugar is addictive, has zero nutrition and in fact robs your body of key nutrients such as Vitamin C.

Here are 3 Tips to Keep Your Candy Cravings at Bay:

Tip #1 Protein Power - The easy fix for an addictive sugar habit is always have enough protein in your diet.  The protein will usually satisfy your body’s need for nutrition, along with healthy carbohydrates – like vegetables and good oils.  Once you’ve eaten a balanced meal your cravings usually diminish.  Just so you know – it takes 3 days to get the physiological craving from your body and a little longer (30 days) to rid yourself of the emotional craving or the habit.  Can you make it for 30 days?  Try it.

I grew up with a sweet tooth myself.  My mother would always make me sit and eat my dinner – I was a picky eater – before any desert would touch my lips I had to sit and wait.  Sometimes I’d sit for an hour (I guess I was stubborn, too). Not having kids myself I can only imagine my mother and all the mother’s reading this article relating to how absolutely frustrating it can be to have your child eat well or not eat well.  I’ve since learned how to eat in a balanced fashion of course – but that sugar monster has to be tamed at all costs.

Tip #2 - Out of Sight. Give it away. Yes, you can give it away or throw it away. If you have a strong leaning towards sugar don’t have it around.  In your moments of weakness, tiredness or emotional upset you will most likely grab for it right away. Best to forego the candy isle when shopping. This goes for all sugar type foods and not just the candy – sweets in general. Also, alcohol can be just a replacement for the candy as it is just sugar as well. All these excess calories and carbohydrates, if not used for energy expenditure will be converted to fat and stored as fat on your body. I always say from your eyes to your thighs – so watch out. And don’t be fooled by sweeteners which are actually worse for you than “food” made from real sugar or sugar cane.  Fructose, even though derived from fruit, is nothing like actually eating  fruit. Studies show that fructose is highly toxic to your liver.

Replace these snack items with nuts, seeds and fruit. These contribute to your wellbeing rather than deplete it. You will not be craving these foods as they are natural foods coming directly from mother nature. OK – so some fruits are picked off the vine or tree too early – nonetheless they are still better than heavily processed sweet snacks. Don’t get me wrong the salty snacks are just as much of a problem.  And they are often filled with sugar as well. Remember to read your labels.

Tip #3 Perfecting Your Meal Time Habit. If you miss meals you’re more vulnerable to those sticky and gooey food items. Don’t end up starving and grabbing anything in sight!

Rule #1 don’t miss meals. It stresses your body as well as your blood sugar. Or as I said you’ll end up reaching for the candy fix. Start your day off with a well balanced meal – not cheerios and 2% milk – these are again highly processed foods. Most foods we consider breakfast items – cereals, bagels, nut breads, pancakes set the stage for the rest of the day. You load up on these starches and find the rest of the day you want more of the same.

To give you a hint – the foods you have for lunch or dinner could be a good breakfast as well.  I tell clients this – most of them rebel and can’t imagine having fish for breakfast.  For the brave at heart try it – you’ve got some salmon left over from dinner add it to your omelet.  Try it.  Always choose proteins and carbohydrates – vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, beans or grains to your meals.  Remember your meals should be all about balance.

And if you must try some of the Halloween candy. Only have a few – just a few and know that Local Dentists are on Call daily!   And if you have a Nutrition Emergency I will be, too!

Happy Halloween!

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