The commitment to stop eating sugar is a keystone commitment. When that becomes a reality, other positive changes fall into place.
Sugar is a health, weight, and wellbeing destroyer. Let’s make this year the year you get rid of it and do so comfortably.
Stop Eating Sugar – At-A-Glance
- Take Action: The Internet has made learning easy. However, when it comes to changing habits, there is no substitution for action.
- Be Prepared: If you are in the habit of using sugar or refined foods as a stress reliever, then when stress hits, you’ll turn to it. If it is not around, you break the habit chain of events because you removed the response.
- None is Easier than Some: This five-word mantra works because it short-circuits the physical drive to overeat. In other words, the easiest way to stay sugar-free is to eat none because some stimulates your appetite and triggers cravings.
- Create a Hunger-Survival Pack: Gather easy-to-grab foods that stop hunger in its tracks because they’re low in carbs and high in fat and protein.
You CAN Stop Sugar. Here are 4 Steps [Video]
In this video, you’ll learn…
- Four steps to help you quit sugar!
- Reasons why each of the steps work.
- Info on my new book, Zero Sugar / One Month.
Step #1: Take Action
We are living in a time when there are few limitations to learning. But for that learning to be meaningful, there must be action.
For instance, you can take a class on how to sail a boat and get an A+ on the final exam, but if you find yourself on a boat the next day and you can’t figure out how to move it away from the dock, where is the value?
As with many things in life, the only real teacher is action. And when it comes to improving your health and weight, it is hard to find an action that parallels giving up sugar.
Giving up sugar is a keystone commitment that has a ripple effect throughout your life.
So often, when we want to improve our health, lose weight, or improve how we feel, we go after everything. It may be true that multiple areas of your life need attention, from your exercise habits to sleep, diet, lifestyle, the whole lot. But where that tends to take us is straight down the path of overwhelm. The solution is to focus on one change that is challenging and takes focus but is only one thing.
Make that one thing this:
No matter what, for the next 30 days, I will not eat or drink anything that has sugar listed as one of the top three ingredients.
That’s it, that’s your commitment, and that is what you act on.
The Reason it Works:
The reason that adhering to going sugar-free for 30 days works is because it is a keystone commitment. In psychology research, it’s referred to as a keystone habit and defined as a habit that, when changed, produces a ripple effect that causes other patterns to change as well.
Get sugar out of your diet, and it will lead to a cascade of other actions that raise your baseline of health without force or the need for willpower.
This is the first step in my new book, Zero Sugar / One Month. When you follow it, you create for yourself this keystone commitment to quit sugar for 30 days.
The book sets your commitment and then helps you disrupt habit patterns that subconsciously pull you back to your old ways.
Let me give you examples of how this is done so that whether you buy the book or not, you have the tools to get results.
Step #2: Be Prepared
We live in a sugar-coated world. You can’t control the world, but you can set up your living spaces so tempting cues are out of sight and out of mind.
When you’re stressed, you want comfort – and you want it now. In these moments, emotions take over, good judgment flies out the window, and all you want to do is escape into something familiar and comforting, like refined food.
How do you handle these out-of-control moments? You be prepared.
If you have the wrong foods in easy-to-grab places, you reduce your sugar-free commitment to willpower. Willpower is destroyed by stress. It’s unreliable, so make it easy to uphold your commitment tomorrow by creating temptation-free zones today.
Ask yourself this:
Are your living spaces working for or against my sugar-free goal?
Look around your kitchen. Is there a bag of chips, cookies, or other refined foods visible? When you open your refrigerator, what are the first foods you see? Are the easy-to-grab items hunger-satisfying low-carb foods like hard-boiled eggs or pre-sliced cheese, or are they sweetened sodas and treats? Do a similar inventory of your freezer, your office, and your living room.
The Reason it Works:
By having sweets and refined carbs in plain sight and readily available, you’ve unknowingly handed yourself over to your unwanted habit.
Habits form when we repeatedly respond to cues in our environment, looking for a reward. So, for a habit to happen, all three parts of the habit loop must be allowed: a cue, followed by a response, and a reward. Once a habit is established, you carry it out automatically, whether it is beneficial or harmful.
If you are in the habit of using sugar or refined foods as a stress reliever, then when stress hits, you’ll turn to it. If it is not around, you break the habit loop because you removed the response. The cue (stress) didn’t change, your response did, and the habit loop was broken.
Step #3: None is Easier than Some
Getting sugar out of sight and out of reach helps you tackle the mental pull of sugar. But, there is also a physical pull.
Humans have been hardwired from our primitive days to eat when food is available. So, the mere act of eating—even a small bite of food—makes you want to keep eating. When it comes to eating sugar, this drive to keep eating once you start is enhanced by emotional and physiological factors that make it even harder to control.
All of that can feel pretty heavy, which leads to compromised thinking. For example, it’s easy to tell yourself that “A little bite won’t hurt” or “If I eat this, it’s not really cheating.” No. You don’t want to go there. Instead, cut off wayward thoughts before they can impact your actions by reminding yourself that “none is easier than some.”
The Reason it Works:
The reason this five-word mantra, “none is easier than some,” works is because it short-circuits the physical drive to overeat. In other words, the easiest way to stay sugar-free is to eat none because some stimulates your appetite and triggers cravings.
Step #4: Create a Hunger Survival Pack
That is not to say that the desire to eat should always be ignored. In fact, you want to make it easy to nourish your body. For step #4, you want to put together a hunger survival pack and give yourself permission to eat when you’re hungry.
Remember that avoiding sugar is your keystone commitment. When you fully commit to that, other positive habits naturally flow from it. Put another way, other positive habits are allowed into your life without force because of this keystone commitment. This is likely an opposite approach from what you’re used to taking.
For many of us, health and weight become a priority when there is a trigger. So something happens, and you say to yourself, “Enough is enough. It’s time to change.” That is an empowering state to be in, but it often pushes us into forcing rather than allowing change.
For example, weight loss is one of the most common outcomes that comes from avoiding sugar. As you progress on this sugar-free path, that weight loss becomes its own motivation. But instead of allowing weight loss to happen as a natural result of changing this keystone habit, we try to force more change.
One way we force weight loss is by drastically reducing the amount we eat. The challenge is that if you push your body too hard, it will push back—and it has some powerful weapons, including cravings, hunger, and fatigue. Instead of forcing change, allow change to happen by giving your body what it needs to succeed.
Step #4 is a fun one. You want to create a hunger survival pack, and when you’re hungry, eat.
Your survival pack will contain easy-to-grab foods that stop hunger in its tracks because they’re low in carbs as well as high in fat, and they contain protein. This combination stabilizes blood sugar, preventing blood sugar crashes that drive cravings.
Take time today to gather convenient, hunger-satisfying foods. You can put these items on a shelf in your refrigerator. Ideas include deviled eggs, leftover chicken strips, pre-cooked shrimp, veggies with dip, and yogurt with fresh or frozen berries.
If you travel during the day, make a travel pack by placing shelf-stable foods, such as a packet of almond butter, raw nuts, and beef sticks, into a portable bag. Then, when hunger hits, eat.
The Reason it Works:
The reason this works is because it puts you in a position of working with your body, not against it. Simply put, give your body what it needs today, and it will give you what you want tomorrow.
Zero Sugar / One Month
These four steps are the first four daily guides in my new book, Zero Sugar / One Month.
To make change that has a lasting impact on your health, weight, and wellbeing, there is no better keystone habit to choose than avoiding sugar.
The book is laid out to help you make that commitment and stay engaged with fun stories and daily small wins that build your motivation and belief.
When you follow that structure for 30 days, your body and brain allow new beneficial habits to become part of your comfortable daily routine.
It is one thing to be taught why sugar is so detrimental. It is quite another to reach a point of calm indifference about it where you can be surrounded by multiple eating cues filling all of your senses yet not feel compelled to overeat and instead feel in complete control of your actions. I hope this blog post and my new book get you started on that path to freedom.
Thank you for reading and have a wonderful holiday!
About the Author
Becky Gillaspy, DC, is the author of The Intermittent Fasting Guide and Cookbook and Zero Sugar / One Month. She graduated Summa Cum Laude with research honors from Palmer College of Chiropractic in 1991.
Links to Amazon within this blog post are affiliate links, meaning that if you follow the links and make a purchase, I will be compensated. Thank you for your support!