These next two weeks are probably the toughest two weeks of the year to not eat any sugar or processed foods. If you are just starting your sugar detox then I feel your pain. If you are like me and you are trying to maintain yourself on a sugar free lifestyle, take my advice, it’s only two weeks.
If you eat daily meals, breakfast lunch and dinner that are not processed foods, then your weekly sugar consumption is already WAY below the national average. I realize that eating sugar is like playing with fire. Sugar is an addictive substance that creates cravings for more and more sugar. Sugar lights up the brain like a drug. Sugar causes your gut micro biome to change, creating an environment more and more hospitable to germs that demand more sugar. All that being said, however, we are in a two week period that is hard to avoid sweets in.
Avoiding sugar is not the same as abstaining from it. When you get together with the family on Christmas Day there may be eggnog. Don’t feel guilty when you accept sweet offerings. Don’t feel like you have lost progress or that it means anything more than a sweet, but exceptional treat. That is what it is, the exception. You’re ability to not eat processed foods with added sugar, and not eat Cokes or Diet Cokes with every meal and between meals, means that you are limiting sugar consumption every waking moment. Having a desert or sweet holiday drink is not addictive, because the holidays are not every week. Christmas cookies are but once a year. Candy canes will increase your craving for sugar, as will cookies and hot chocolate, but your cravings have been worse.
I am now well practiced in the work of not allowing momentary temptation to bring me back into a sugar eating habit. It’s very important that you not punish yourself when you accept sweets between now and New Years. It doesn’t say anything about you or your willpower. It doesn’t mean you are week or that you have to ‘start over’. Punishment won’t help you avoid cravings. Punishment won’t make it easier to accomplish your goal of eating real foods, it’s just not necessary.
Enjoy your life, your family, your foods–all of them. Be gracious and spread the good word about your new way of eating. You are more convincing an advocate for living sugar free if you make it look EASY.