For anyone who is trying to cut out sugar from your diet, chances are you’ve come across the same road blocks as I have over the years. I certainly don’t deny myself sugar, but most of the time, it’s never, ever enough. As I’m feeling sick to my stomach while I’m physically eating it, all I can think about is the next time I can have sugar. It’s brutal and I don’t think a day goes by that I don’t think about, want, or eat sugar.
So this morning, I wanted sugar. Bad. There’s a bag of candy (that I know I’ve mentioned before) that is my go-to candy. It’s a Maynards mix – sour patch kids, Swedish fish, buttons, and caramel buttons. It literally covers all of my bases – if I want something sour, or sweet, or chocolate, or caramel. Those are the four standard sugar flavors I regularly crave. The problem is, with the big bags, once it’s open, I eat the whole thing no matter what I’m actually craving.
This morning, I paused. I questioned whether I actually wanted sugar – maybe it’s the habit talking. Nope. Actually wanted sugar – but specifically, caramel. Okay, I can work with this! I decided Caramilk bar. But then I had to decide: bag of “mini’s”, the jumbo bar, or a regular bar? I haven’t done the calculations (yet!) of the 3 different options – cause, ultimately, I know the truth; I would have eaten the whole bag, no matter what size I got.
The good thing? When I had the chocolate bar, I was done. Craving satisfied without over stuffing on crap. Didn’t feel sick or disgusting. What did I feel? Actually… disappointment.
Why is our memory so much stronger than reality? I remember Caramilk being SO good! Today? Mediocre. I know our taste buds change over time and as our diet changes, we become sensitive to tastes… but I really remember it being better!
OKAY! So since originally writing this, I did some digging and made some calculations for nutritional content!
Cadbury Marvellous Mix Maynards
- Calories: 880
- Fat: 28g
- Sugar: 124g
- Protein: 8g
Caramilk big bar (100g)
- Calories: 462
- Fat: 21g
- Sugar: 48g
- Protein: 6g
Caramilk regular bar (52g)
- Calories: 240
- Fat: 11g
- Sugar: 25g
- Protein: 3g
Caramilk Minis (200g)
- Calories: 966
- Fat: 51g
- Sugar: 101g
- Protein: 9g
Whoo! Would you look at those numbers! Yowzers! To make it worse, I KNOW for a fact, had I gotten the bag of minis I would have eaten the whole thing! That’s like half my caloric intake I could have easily consumed in about 15 minutes. And, yes, I can and do eat candy that fast!
So this is the thing; if you’re having a craving, sit down and really think about what it is you are in fact craving. I know I’m addicted to sugar so for me, I need to really think if I’m actually hungry, bored, stressed, or if I simply want something sweet. And this is the important part: figure out exactly what you want and get that. Don’t try to eat something else instead, because it won’t work. You will obsess about what you *actually* want until you get it – even if that means eating your way through a couple extra hundred calories (or thousands!)
I have the perfect example. The above photo was taken after my first Figure competition in 2011. It was brutal training and very restricted diet. After my competition, all I wanted was chocolate cake. At the after event dinner, the restaurant didn’t have a meal or a dessert that I really wanted. The “chocolate cake” they had was more like a brownie and it was dry. Not what I wanted. But I ate it anyway. On our way back to the hotel, we stopped at a grocery store and settled on a 2L thing of ice cream – their selection was minimal and I settled on a flavor that was okay, but not what I wanted. On our way home, we stopped at a shop called “Let Them Eat Cupcake”… and I got a mini chocolate cupcake with a salted caramel icing. Yes, it tasted as amazing as it sounds. SO good, in fact, that I literally started crying!!!
Now THAT is what it should be like! Not settling for what’s convenient! If you want something, figure out exactly what it is, and don’t settle on anything but! I probably ate my way through 1500+ calories and all it took was a mini cupcake. After that I was done! Didn’t need anything else! The competition the following year, if I remember correctly, we actually got 1/2 dozen cupcakes and I took them with me to the competition – for after the finals!
The other thing to remember, is how did you feel after you ate it? Did it satisfy you? Or in my case of the Caramilk bar, were you disappointed?
Remember that feeling and it might stop you from binge eating in the future.