Mindset Mistakes That Prevent Quitting Sugar
By Joan Kent, PhD
I call myself the world's foremost recovered sugar addict. I really get it.
I've quit sugar more times than I can count. I tell this to all my clients because it's helpful to let them know I'm not just speaking on something I've only read about academically.
In the process of making every mistake in the book – and inventing a few of my own – I discovered a formula that works. To ensure it was effective, I researched that formula for my dissertation.
It's very effective.
Let's look at 3 mindset mistakes about quitting sugar that kept me stuck for quite some time – and might be keeping you stuck, as well.
Mistake 1: Expecting quitting to be easy
You'll probably have good days and bad, easy moments and difficult ones. If you expect quitting sugar to be easy, you might be unprepared for the bad days or difficult moments that come along.
What to Do Instead
Expect that it will take effort to quit. If you accept that, you'll be ready to deal with whatever comes up.
It's not that quitting sugar won't bother you at all, but you'll be less reactive. Not only less reactive to externals – like tempting foods around you – but also less reactive to internal factors, like sugar cravings.
Eventually, you'll be non-reactive to sugary foods in general, whether you see them, smell them, or even taste a little. It's definitely worth reaching that point!
As for cravings, I have both an effective short-term solution and an effective long-term solution.
Mistake 2: No solid system
Because I quit sugar long before it was recognized as harmful, I had to piece my plan together from my doctoral research. Not every step was a clear one forward, so there was backsliding – sometimes a lot. My persistence and continued research eventually led to a real and solid system.
These days, it's easy to find questionable "wisdom" on websites, in magazines, in books, on podcasts. But it's not a good idea to cobble your plan from a mishmash of unrelated bits of advice.
What to Do Instead
Stop jumping from plan to plan, guru to guru, book to book. Find one plan and stick with it.
Part of the solid system I created is to focus on your sugar addiction first until you succeed in quitting sugar and feel ready to move on to your next issue. This isn't the time to focus on weight loss, become a vegan, go raw, or schedule your life makeover.
Whatever your next need might be, conquering sugar addiction gets top billing now.
Mistake 3: Looking for support ... in all the wrong places
It's only natural to want support. But telling the wrong people about your decision to quit sugar could be a mistake - and could lead to sabotage that undoes your efforts!
For example, telling everyone at the dinner table that you're turning down dessert because you're addicted to sugar might result in this:
"Oh, have it; you'll eat less tomorrow."
"Just work out a little harder tomorrow."
"A little bit can't hurt."
"But I made it myself."
Not one of those comments shows an awareness of the issues you're facing. And if they succeed in getting you to go against your plan, you're the one who suffers and has to start over again.
What to Do Instead
• Keep your goal and your plan to yourself. People feel uncomfortable around someone who's doing what they don't have the guts to do. Don't give anyone a reason to sabotage you.
• Stay focused on your "Why" for quitting. Don't underestimate the negative impact of sugar on your life. Do you have diabetes or pre-diabetes? Do you have high blood pressure? What about high cholesterol or persistent overweight? These health issues are typically linked with fats (or salt), but sugar could be the culprit in all of them.
Do you have mood swings or "low" moods? Quitting sugar can help. Quitting can also help you control your appetite and stop out-of-control eating.
How would it be to have even one of these issues under control? What if you could change several? How would you feel about your health, yourself, and being a role model for your kids?
It's easy to think that not eating sugar is 'just' a nutrition decision. But the decision reaches far.
The next post will cover the 5 Key Behavior Shifts I discovered on my way to quitting sugar.
I'm dedicated to helping you conquer sugar so you can transform your health, your moods and your energy, stay addiction-free, and change your image ... of you! Grab your free copy of "3 Biggest Mistakes People Make When Trying to Quit Sugar" (NOT the same mistakes as in the above article!) when you visit www.LastResortNutrition.com .