If your favorite cookie could talk, what would it say?
An Oreo might warn you, "I'm more addicting than cocaine!"
A Specialty's Bakery Semi Sweet Chocolate Chunk Cookie -- a personal favorite -- would beg, "Split me, I'm 440 calories and have 21 grams of fat!"
An oatmeal cookie might plead its case with you, insisting, "I am higher in fiber than the chocolate chip and have less calories."
Or maybe the cookie would ask to be eaten. It will be happy if its purpose is fulfilled.
OK, I have a slight sugar addiction. I try not to cave in to it unless the treat is amazing. My office etiquette is to have one bite of something if a sugar pusher insists, and if it's delicious, I will come back for seconds. Sugar may not be more addicting than cocaine, but it's the downfall of many diets.
Check out this video of three people giving up sugar for one month. I am not suggesting you try it too, for a month or even a day, but developing a strategy to eat less crap is a key to health. Here are a few suggestions:
- Partner up with a friend
- Schedule a cheat meal each week
- Prepare healthy snacks (cut up fruits a veggies, nuts, seeds..)
- Become a dessert snob
Along with eating less sugar, you should read food labels. Sugar is hidden in many packaged food. Sometimes it's by a different name; check out this list of sweeteners devised by marketers and scientists. Don't be fooled into thinking you can have an extra serving because the cookie uses agave nectar instead of cane sugar.
As a trainer, it pains me to admit this, but diet is just as important as exercise, sometimes more so. Exercise is essential for health, but you cannot eat whatever you want because you're "active." Running 10 miles a day doesn't mean you can polish off a pint of Ben and Jerry's. Eating all that ice cream might not wreck your six-pack, but sugar is a leading contributor to obesity in children and adults and linked to numerous health issues.
Instead of being a sugar pusher, become a veggie pusher. Carrot sticks won't disappear quickly from the candy bowl, but it will be appreciated, at least by me.