Quite often, wanna-be Sugar Kickers ask me: “How can I curb my carb cravings to keep myself from tasting and then inevitably gobbling handfuls of cookies or crackers?”
One of the most powerful and potent strategies is so simple that you’ll wonder why you never tried it in the first place. Simply hold off before doing anything — especially something that you’ll later regret. After all, if you mindlessly shove those fast-acting, Much-Like-Sugar Carbsï¿½ in your mouth, you might later feel wiped out, spaced out, moody and depressed because the numbers on your scale continue to climb.
Think about it: Just about all of us are good at delaying in the first place. You know how you keep putting off cleaning the house, giving your boss that proposal or even throwing out the garbage? More to the point, many of us are pretty darn good at procrastinating, right? I know I am. While I’m certainly not proud of this dubious skill, delaying, I’ve found, is a fun, clever way to give procrastination a positive spin!
I hit upon this incredible strategy back in 1998 when I kicked sweets and simple carbs on doctor’s orders. To this day, I’m struck by how easy, effortless, and darn effective it is to just delay!
Everyone of any age–unless you’re maybe a tot–can cultivate this tactic. All you have to do is promise yourself to hold off for a brief period of time. Then, you can delay over and over again, even for hours. Just think: The next morning you’ll be relieved and proud of yourself that you didn’t cave into your cravings.
Here are 7 ways delaying can be your remarkable ally to help you pull the plug on your unwanted sugar habit. (It’s one of “6 D’s” strategies that I’ve developed to help both myself and other “Sugar Kickers.”)
- Delaying (first 5 minutes, then 10 minutes, 1 hour, 2 hours, etc.) before eating that brownie, cookie, or candy bar gives you a golden opportunity to break away from your impulses so that you can easily detach from them.
- Delaying for 10 minutes, then 15 minutes, etc. allows your cravings to readily subside while you get involved with other things.
- Delaying lets you take positive, health-promoting action by simple inaction. Yes, doing absolutely nothing can be pivotal when kicking or cutting back on sweets and quickie carbs.
- Delaying turns procrastinating into an effective art form and proactive gesture.
- Delaying allows you to zero in on what foods–if any–you’re really craving. Does your body really need cookies, cake, and pretzels? I highly doubt it!! Or would your amazing body rather have water, fresh vegetables and fruits, high-quality protein or healthy fats?
- Delaying gives you a chance to get in touch with your true feelings. What the heck is really going on that makes these quickie carbs so tantalizing to you?
- Delaying permits you to take pride in yourself that you put off a short-lived, self-defeating immediate gratification in favor of a long-term positive outcome. (Isn’t it far preferable to lose weight, have more energy and concentrate better than giving in during one moment of weakness and then suffering the consequences?)
In short, simple delaying is truly one of the most effective tools a successful Sugar Kicker can use.
Pro-active action to cut your cravings
I encourage you to become a delaying artist now. Of course, as you know, “practice makes perfect.”
- Next time you have a hankering for something sweet (that’s processed), begin by delaying. Look at your watch or a clock and now wait for 5 minutes before putting any refined sweets in your mouth–you can easily do that!
- Now, step outside your obsessive sugary thoughts and wait 10 minutes. It can help if you do something else in the meantime.
- Then hold off another 20 minutes. Be creative with your delaying time. Some people find doing the dishes or putting clothes away is a way to pull the plug on your food thoughts.
- Then really challenge yourself! Wait an hour, then 2 hours, or maybe even the whole evening. You can do it!
- Finally, write about your experience in a journal or notebook.
By delaying, you could learn a lot about yourself and the power of a focused mind.
To this day, I thank Ms. Delay for helping me to learn that Life is Sweeter Without Refined Sweets.