Changing Your Relationship with Sweet Food
Do you have trouble saying no to sweet food when other people offer it to you? For example, you don’t usually buy cupcakes on your own. But, when your coworker brings them in for someone’s birthday, you have a hard time saying no.
I understand, you’d think the hospital would be healthy a place to work, but it’s not. I once worked at an office that kept emergency bags of chocolate in the drawer of every desk! That was in a cardiology clinic!
Why Does This Matter To You
Obviously, you’re getting a lot of extra calories you don’t need when you eat sweets unexpectedly. But you’re also causing a dramatic spike in your blood sugar. Usually, your blood sugar peaks about 2 hours after you eat. If it’s really high, like after you eat cupcakes or other baked goods, then your body will want to keep your blood sugar high the rest of the day. This means either you’ll keep eating or you’ll probably feel tired or grumpy after your blood sugar goes back down.
Change Your Relationship with One Type of Food
Try starting with one food, that’s a problem food for you, for example, cupcakes. Then make a mental plan and think “I don’t eat cupcakes anymore”, as in “I’m not the type of person that eats cupcakes”. This doesn’t mean you’ll never eat a cupcake again, but it means you only eat cupcakes a couple of times a year. For example, for your birthday and your significant other’s birthday.
It can’t be you eat cupcakes for any special occasion. This is because realistically between your friends, family, coworkers, and vacations you probably have a special occasion every other week. If you’re waiting for a time when there are no special occasions in your life, I don’t see that happening unless you become a homebody who never goes anywhere.
Visualization For Long Term Desensitization
Next, try visualizing yourself saying no to the one type of food you picked above. For example, if you’re going to a friend’s birthday visualize the scenario that cupcakes are going to be presented to you and then imagine yourself saying no. Then imagine the response your friends will have to you saying no. Then what you’re going to say in response to that and so forth.
Probably the best answer here is to say you’re full or you already had a lot of sugar today. Generally, I’ve found that if you say you’re dieting or trying to get fit, that will get you into a back and forth conversation. This will drag out into how your friends think you’re already fit, you don’t need to lose weight, etc. It’s not as effective of an excuse.
Eventually, the goal is to desensitize yourself. So that when cupcakes are offered to you, you automatically think of yourself as the type of person who doesn’t eat cupcakes and say no.
This will take some time for you to make it into a habit, but it will be worth it. I’m finally at the point where my coworkers at my last job thought I didn’t like sweets at all! If I can do it, you can do it too!
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P.S. I recently spoke on the Hidden Why podcast about eating healthy, you can listen to it here.