I have, in the very recent past, been the poster girl for being a Sweet Tooth. This was me:
- I would order desserts/puddings over savoury food many times
- I found many excuses to have cake more than once a week
- I felt VERY panicked if there was no chocolate in the house
- I told myself that chocolate is vital for me, as a woman, because of my hormones
- I used sweet treats as a reward, ALWAYS
- I suffered with bad thrush, often
- I would wake up and immediately eat a block of Diary Milk chocolate. (sweet craving upon waking)
Can you relate to any of those? This has been my pattern, my "thing" for...well...for as long as I have been an adult and in charge of my own eating. Now, when I started gym training and following the gym "clean eating", I simply swapped sugar for sweeteners (as I was told to do) but then I used my cheat meals to indulge in cakes or chocolates. But my craving for sweet things never went away. In fact, at times, it seemed to get worse.
Until now. So of course, if you read this blog, by now you know I am Banting. And this has been the key to kicking my sweet tooth, I believe. Because if you don't have sweet stuff, you need to have fat. That fat is what satiates you and helps control, and eventually diminish the cravings. However, the first time I Banted, I didn't cut out sweeteners, and my sweet tooth remained. This time, I went cold turkey and cut out all sweeteners and sweet things (no sugar, no xylitol, no stevia, no sucralose...none of it) and it has worked! My constant craving for something sweet has come to an end.
It didn't happen overnight. It took a while to get used to coffee with no sweetener, and it was even harder for me to not have things like Sprite Zero on a hot day. That took a while! Now I drink ice cold water, tea and coffee only, and if I do have a vodka, I have it with soda water and fresh lime. Yes, I have had the odd artificially sweetened soft drink - but I can count the times on one hand only. And those have not derailed me or tempted me, because, I think, they have been so few and far between. I have been sweetener free now for over a month, and I think that is the key. It takes time.
But I know for a fact I have kicked my addiction (and believe me, if I can do it, you can too!) because the other day we were at Mugg n Bean and I allowed my son to have half a slice of cake...my weakness...and even though I had a bite, I stopped after that. I didn't sit and salivate. I didn't crave it or wish I could have it. Nope, I was quite fine watching him eat it. (Yes, I am cutting back on his sugar too, but I do allow treats now and then...). So now I know for myself - I can live without sweet things. I never, ever thought I would hear myself say that, ever. It's possible, people.
So from my humble personal experience, the key to kicking the sweet tooth is to cut out ALL sweet stuff - whether it's natural, chemical or artificial - and include fat in your eating plan to satiate you.
So now you know. :)