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Volume III
June 8, 2012

Weekly Home / Cook'n & Eat'n

Are You Being Sabotaged?

By Alice Osborne

I've had a lot of readers asking about how to break their sugar addictions while dealing with what seems to them as family sabotaging. They want to know how to get off sugar when folks are working against them.

Can you relate? I sure can. This is a tough one because most everyone likes their sugar and seems more comfortable about it if YOU do too! So if you've been trying to kick sugar, and your family has responded by bringing home the "All-You-Can-Cram-in-a-Box" donuts on a Friday night, then it's a sure bet your loved ones are true diet saboteurs.

What most folks don't seem to understand, or take seriously, is that sugar is addictive, just like salt, saturated fat, tobacco, and cocaine are. We're not just talking personal preference here. This is a serious matter and it's vital they understand the severe problems of the issue; it's crucial you get them on your side. The supporting role families play is considered so important to diet success that both the Cleveland Clinic Lifestyle 180 program and the Duke University Diet and Fitness Center have special programs for "supporters."

But all that said, don't get mad at your loved ones. Get them involved. Tell them how much they mean to you and how much you need their help. With luck, your family will be smart enough not only to support you but also to imitate you.

So going forward, here are 6 tried-and-true steps that help smokers quit their habit, and Dr. Oz on has found they help sugar addicts as well. These 6 steps could counteract any family sabotaging and set you up for success:

1. Make a pact with yourself to cut sugar out of your life. Studies show that making a serious commitment to doing whatever it takes to break an addiction is one of the most important steps toward beating it.

2. Set a quit date at least a month from today. Give yourself time to mentally prepare for the quitting journey and clear your pantry, car, desk, and gym locker of sugar in all its forms, including food and drinks containing honey or rice syrup and high-fructose corn syrup (that includes most ketchups, many sports drinks, and even coffee creamer).

3. Start walking 30 minutes a day. Like sugar, exercise releases mood-enhancing hormones. Later, when sugar abstinence causes a dip in feel-good hormones, you can add a tension-relieving 5-minute walk to this regimen.

4. Cut back gradually. Begin by reducing the sugar you add to tea and coffee. Then, substitute something healthy, like yogurt (without added sugar) and berries or unsweetened applesauce for two or three of the sweet foods you usually have.

5. Visualize a slimmer, healthier you going for a walk, sipping on water, or practicing deep breathing when you're stressed. A little role-playing helps you practice alternatives to eating under pressure.

6. Think of the three biggest reasons why you want to live a sugar-free life, write them on a card, and read them several times a day.

With a month of practice behind you, you'll be ready to weather the cravings that come when you first abstain from sugar. In time, your brain chemistry will readjust, and those cravings will stop. You will beat the addiction the food companies (and maybe your family) taunt you with. BRAVO!

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