Do you ever feel out of control or like you don’t have enough willpower around sugary sweets?
You may have said to yourself…
- “Once I start I can’t stop.”
- “Oh no, I could never just have one.”
- “I can’t keep those in my house — they’ll be gone by tomorrow morning!”
Do any of these common phrases sound familiar to you? But you’re not alone here! Many of our new Community Members often share with us that sweets are their “weakness” or that they feel out of control when they’re around sweets.
Part of a balanced relationship with food is to be able to enjoy the foods that you would like to without feeling out of control or guilty.
Intentionally eating mindfully will allow you to enjoy sweets with ease. See below our 5 Tips for Mindfully Enjoying Sweets:
1. Start With Eating Balanced Foundational Five Meals
Eating Foundational Five (Non-Starchy Carbs, Starchy + Sugary Carbs, Healthy Fats, Protein, Flavour Factor) meals helps you to nourish your body with the fuel it needs.
When you’re nourished, your blood sugar levels are managed so you won’t experience extreme spikes or drops that may make you feel compelled to eat more of those sugary sweets. This results in you secondarily, naturally eating less sugar.
You instead feel hunger and satiety as your body needs and can enjoy sweets without compulsion when you choose.
2. Ask Yourself Which Sweets You Really Enjoy
When eating mindfully, you’re able to choose and mindfully enjoy sweets that truly sound delicious to you — the ones you look forward to and can’t wait to have.
In turn, you’re able to turn away the stale cookies that have been out for hours or the not-so-moist cupcakes that just so happen to be at your work today.
You’re not saying no to these sweets because you feel like you need to or should, but simply because you know they aren’t really enjoyable to you. You’d prefer to choose the sweets that you think are really good.
3. Try Plating The Sweets You’d Like to Eat
Oftentimes, where people may find themselves mindlessly eating sweets rather than intentionally choosing to enjoy them, is when they walk by a candy jar and pick up a Hershey Kiss, or there’s a plate of cookies on the buffet and you grab one every time they walk by.
This really doesn’t allow you to evaluate if you truly want the sweet or actually enjoy it if it is something you really would like.
Plating your food can be a supportive habit that helps you better pause and reflect on what sweets you’d truly like to enjoy, rather than mindlessly grabbing chocolate from the stash as you walk by.
4. Be Present So You Can Fully Enjoy the Sweets You Eat
Mindful eating is something we practice here regularly at the Practice and for good reason — it allows you to connect with your food, appreciates the tastes, texture, and smells which helps you to enjoy your food more and be more satisfied.
To do this, you have to be present for what you’re eating. That means eating without distractions like the TV, scrolling Instagram or TikTok, or working. A helpful cue to remind you to practice this is to eat at the table where those distractions tend to naturally be less present.
Then, as you’re sitting to eat and enjoying your sweets, really practice slowly eating it and tasting each bite, and noticing the taste and textures.
5. Don’t Label Sweets as Bad
Eating mindfully means eating food for both enjoyment and nourishment, rather than just one or the other.
If you label sweets as “bad” or “off-limits” or say to yourself you can only have them “just this one time,” you’ll have a stronger desire to eat more sweets.
Take any holiday as an example. Let’s say there are a couple of desserts that sound really delicious to you. If you go into it thinking, “I’m only allowing myself to have sweets today, and then they’re back off-limits,” you’ll likely end up overindulging and not really enjoying what you eat. Maybe you’re forcing yourself to have a slice of chocolate cake and apple pie because you want both but you don’t really have the room. It would be much more helpful to say, “I’m going to have a piece of cake now and also take home a slice of apple pie to enjoy as leftovers.”
You’ll then be able to fully enjoy both and you’ll be less likely to overindulge or feel compelled to eat sweets out of scarcity. You instead can choose to mindfully enjoy sweets when you really want them.