pixated

Q:

I just learned I am diabetic. I have always been horribly addicted to sweets and I can't stop consuming them. What should I do?

Amy Campbell

A:

While it’s perfectly normal to crave sweet foods now and then, there certainly are people who have difficulty controlling their intake of sugar and sugary-foods. The more you eat them, the more you want them. A first step is to stop buying and bringing sweets into your home. Instead, stock up on fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grain crackers, popcorn and yogurt. If possible, remove sugar and other sweeteners (honey, molasses, maple syrup) from your home, as well. Many find that the less sugar they eat, the less they crave it. If you have family members or roommates who enjoy sweets, ask them to keep then away from the food that you eat so that you’re not tempted. When you feel the urge to eat something sweet, try either distracting yourself by doing something else (going for a walk, doing laundry, making a phone call, etc.) or by eating a food high in protein (a boiled egg, a handful of nuts, a slice of turkey) or high in fiber (baby carrots, a handful of popcorn or high fiber, unsweetened cereal). Over time you’ll likely find that sweets don’t hold as much appeal for you, and when they do, you can be satisfied by eating a small portion. Also, pay attention to what triggers your cravings for sweets. It’s not uncommon for people to reach for food when they are upset, anxious, depressed or bored. Try keeping a “food and mood” diary – when you are in the middle of eating sweet foods, write down what you’re eating and also what you may be feeling at that time (e.g., feeling sad, lonely, depressed, etc.). Sweet foods can provide temporary “comfort” during these times, but the comfort is short lived and food isn’t a solution to life’s problems. You might want to consider talking to a mental health professional about other behavior modification techniques to try, or possibly receiving therapy for any mental health struggles that you may be experiencing.

December 22, 2012 at 7:36 pm