Kicking your sweet tooth in the mouth

Kicking my sweet tooth in the mouth

FitCampers! I’m sure glad that that week is over. The heat was just oppressive. Personally, I’ll take the cold any time over the heat. It’s certainly easier to put on more clothes than it is to take them off. Without getting into trouble that is…

But, we’ve got the first heat wave out of our way. It’s probably going to be a hot summer and I’m sure that this won’t be the end of the heat, but now we’ve gotten a taste of it and next time it won’t feel as hot. Hopefully.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Don’t forget that the gym will be closed July 3-5th. I’m going to be heading out on vacation and I hope that you all have a great 4th of July.

It’s Bring a Friend Week!!! I know how excited that everyone gets when it’s Bring a Friend week, so I’m happy to announce that we’ve got not only that going, but we’ve also got a FREE Foundations Class on July 8th! So, if you’ve got a friend or family member (or if you’re an old member that’s been thinking about coming back) that has been dying to try it out, let them know that not only do they get a week free this week, they also get a free Foundations Class on the 8th!

Be that person to inspire the people that you care about to think about their health and fitness as well. You love the gym, I love the gym, everyone loves this gym. Let’s get more people to love the gym as well.

Kicking your sweet tooth in the mouth

I’ve just recently finished up my year of the ProCoach Program. It’s been a great journey, developing better habits, building confidence in social situations to make the best choices (or no choices), and really gave me a lot of guidance into why I do make the choices that I make. It’s such an amazing program and I’m happy to be using my Precision Nutrition Level 2 certification (which was also a yearlong program!) to coach others in it and helping them to develop better habits, build the same confidence, get some self-discovery, and lose weight for life.

It's a delicious pun! 

It's a delicious pun! 

One of the best side effects that’s come out of this, one of MANY amazing side effects, is that my sweet tooth has almost completely vanished.

The cravings that used to come after meals, or even just randomly, are almost completely gone.

That’s not to say that I don’t indulge from time to time, or even have urges at all. It’s that when they DO come up, I have strategies in place and I’m able to manage it better.

I’m going to talk a bit about the process of kicking the sweet tooth out, as well as some strategies for managing the cravings, and what I do when I do decide to indulge.

Step One: Working on the Sweet Tooth.

This first step is surprisingly simple. Sticking to the basics of our nutrition program is an enormous first step. If you need a quick refresher, watch this short video. Don’t mind the production quality, I was still working on my speaking skills and recording, etc. Alright fine, it’s like watching a high school stage play BUT, the info is well worth getting through the 4 minutes of horror.

The first thing that I’d recommend is going to be eating as many veggies as you can. Find things that you like, have easy access to, and can keep around at all times. For me it was bell peppers, specifically red and yellow because they are a bit sweeter. The gut and the bacteria in it is a complicated place and this short article isn’t going to get into depth about it but, the basics are this; getting more fiber in your diet will help your gut flora start to change to those that WANT more fiber. Meaning, the flora that craves the sugar will eventually start to die out and get replaced by flora that craves fiber (in very simple terms). It’s not going to happen overnight, it might be even a couple of weeks, but it WILL change and you’ll notice one day that you reach for veggies, and not the sweets.

Again, this is just one basic step to start helping you out. I know that I sound like your mother, “Eat your vegetable young man/lady!”, but it really does help. Most of you, as adults now, can probably admit that your parents were right about the veggies. And probably a few more things.

Step Two: Managing the Cravings

This is the hardest step to be perfectly honest. When those sugar cravings kick in, it becomes a monster driving you to find and eat anything that will make that craving go away. Trust me, I had that monster in a bad way (just ask Megan…). When my monster would pop up, I would look for anything to curb it; cookies, frozen yogurt, chocolate, M&M’s, mini Snickers, Butterfingers, ice cream, or even just some raw sugar (a sugar junkies last resort).

It was ridiculous and I knew that it was a problem.

I’d usually cave in because, honestly, we only have so much decision-making power in a day. At some point, we just can’t fend off those monsters anymore. Shame, guilt, and even possibly self-loathing come shortly after a big binge. You tell yourself, “I immediately regret that decision” as your stomach cramps up.

Luckily, I found a few things that worked well for me to help manage these cravings.

Recognizing that there was a problem was step one. Not that there’s a problem with having some sweets every now and then, it was the binging on them that became the problem.

The next strategy was also pretty simple. I changed my cues. When I felt that sugar monster coming up, instead of reaching for something sweet, I’d do some burpees or go for a walk, or simply ask myself, “Would this REALLY make me feel better, or will this upset my stomach and regret it later?” Instead of focusing on giving the monster what it wanted, I simply reprogramed the response to that craving.

Let me be clear, there’s no problem with eating sweets. I’m not saying that it’s bad, or that you’re a bad person for eating them, it’s simply a question of, “will eating that help me toward my goal or take me away from it?”

For me, the answer was a resounding, “no, it won’t help me toward my goal.” So it was time to find other things to do with my energy.

Step Three: Strategies for Indulging

My first foray into changing things up for that after dinner sweet was frozen green grapes. They have an amazing texture and, if you find some sweet ones, a couple bites will definitely kick that sweet tooth. You can even get a little creative with it. Maybe put in some different kinds of berries. Or even add them to some low or nonfat Greek yogurt for added protein (you probably don’t get enough protein anyway). Get creative and have fun!

Another strategy that you can use in social situations when you’re around a dessert table or something, is to just avoid getting close to that table. Keep on the other side of the room. Don’t even look at it. Involve yourself in a deep conversation with someone and eventually the table will just disappear into the background. You’ll end up leaving the party and forget that you didn’t even have a dessert.

And lastly, just eat the cake! Like I said, just because my sweet tooth is more or less kicked, doesn’t mean that I don’t indulge from time to time. We had a birthday party the other night and there was a Nothing Bundt Cake there. I LOVE Nothing Bundt Cakes. When the cake was being cut up, I was asked if I wanted a slice and I just politely said “no”. This is a perfectly acceptable answer! “No” is ok! If people press and ask, “Are you sure?” The answer “no, thank you, I’m full from dinner” is STILL ok. No one can pressure you to eat anything if you don’t want to.

The reason why I say no is because, no one but me knows what a “very small” slice is. Everyone has a different perspective is on “small”. So later on, I went and got myself my own slice. Like I said, I LOVE Nothing Bundt Cakes and I’ll have a piece, and be OK with it because it’s a very rare treat. I’m not going to die. My fitness isn’t going to end. I’m not going to “undo” my work out for the day by having a slice the size of my pinky finger. Then, I ate it very, very slowly. I enjoyed every single little bit and you know what? I didn’t even finish it. By eating the sweets that you decide to indulge in very, very slowly, you’ll find that a few bites are all you’ll need. By eating very slowly, your brain will have time to register that it’s super sweet and will let you know that just a few bites will be enough.

And you know what, it was delicious and I was ok with it.

These are just 3 simple steps that you can take to help move you forward as well in kicking your sweet tooth in the mouth. There are many more lessons that you can learn and habits that you can develop to ensure success in your fitness and nutrition.

It doesn’t happen overnight, it takes time to get the hang of these steps. Start slow, don’t beat yourself up if you have a hard time. It took me about a year to figure it all out.

If you need more help, head over to our Get Fit{Nutrition} page and read about the ProCoach Program. The program is currently closed, but we’ll be starting a new one in 2 months. For those of you that sign up early, you’ll have access to our early bird pricing and save on this life changing program.

Let’s have a great week, bring your friends, bring your family and let’s Get{Fit}!

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