The Struggle with Sweets

Ice Cream Sundae

I’m still struggling a bit with sweets. Somehow they crept into my diet in a big way—bigger than I thought, now that I’m keeping a food journal. It seems like every day, every night, even though I’m planning and doing well with the meals and snacks, I still sneak something sweet into my food. At work the other day it was the chocolate-covered graham crackers that I have stashed in my cabinet. Many nights, it’s my husband’s ice cream. I’ve heard that sugar is addictive, but I’ll be truthful: Cutting it out of my diet completely just is not going to work for me. However, the constant high-calorie, not-quite-healthy sugary stuff isn’t working for me either.

So I decided to strategize. I noticed that around 3 or 4 p.m. each day (surprise), I crave something sweet at the office. And then about an hour after dinner, I want sweet again. But giving in to both is derailing me. I decided to find a sweet substitute that isn’t a diet-killer to keep in my desk drawer at work. My choice: Werther’s Original hard candies. Yes, I’ve heard a zillion times the advice to suck on a hard candy when you want something sweet because it takes a while to eat, and I’ve always dismissed it as blah, blah. But the thing is…this works for me. The Werther’s are sweet and buttery and taste rich, plus they last forever, so I really can stop at one.

Nighttime is a little trickier, but I decided to try some low-fat frozen yogurt instead. No, it’s not the epitome of a healthy snack, and I do know that I need to break the habit of eating something sweet each night. But I figure baby steps are smarter than drastic changes, so I’m going to give it a try. It may be just what I need, or it may be a gateway snack for me—I’ll let you know how it goes!

How about you: are there any strategies you use to curb a sweets craving?