Most of us have tried them—the diet fads that offer much but deliver little. Frustrated and confused, many give up and resort to eating whatever they crave while telling themselves they’re overweight because, apparently, that is how they’re supposed to be.
Yet nothing could be further from the truth. We should constantly remind ourselves that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, and that He guides us for His good purposes. His word is a lamp for our feet, a light for our path (Psalm 119:105).
It is safe to say, then, that the Lord is not the one luring us to the sugar bowl.
Cravings have a way of torturing our minds. Sometimes it’s all we can do to stop from licking the life out of a handful of Tootsie Pops. Try as we may, our minds are fixated on sweets, much to the chagrin of the poor souls who stand in the way of our fix!
Although, stand in our way they should. A 60 Minutes segment reported that sugar is toxic and could be a driving force behind some of this country’s leading killers. Sugar is able to take a serious toll on our health, worsening conditions ranging from heart disease to cancer.
For some, sugar holds the key to their comfort in moments of weakness or boredom. Indeed, research indicates that chocolate triggers the production of opioids (mimicking medications that relieve pain and produce a feeling of euphoria). It’s no wonder, then, that sweets are addicting, and that a lack thereof may lead to irritability and, quite possibly, the need to pull out hair (ours or another’s).
Besides the obvious villains (sweets and soft drinks), sugar hides in almost everything, including condiments, often deceiving unsuspecting shoppers with incomprehensible chemical terminology. Apprise yourself of such terms and read labels carefully. Soft drinks rank among the worst fat-inducing offenders. Ridding one’s self of soft drinks, for example, greatly releases unwanted weight. For a delicious alternative, drink water flavored naturally with lemon, lime, orange, or mint.
To return to a sweet disposition and get to the root of your cravings, allow yourself time to experiment and learn about which foods make you feel your best, and why. Observe your body’s signals after eating. Which healthy foods most satisfy hunger and offer a more stable mood? Treat yourself as though you are in detox (which isn’t a stretch!), be kind to yourself by refraining from daunting projects or overtime work, and enjoy a spa treatment (a natural form of detoxification). Sleep well, eat wisely, and grocery shop mostly in stores’ outer perimeters (where healthy items thrive). Above all, spend time in prayer. When temptation comes, and it will, you’ll want to seek God even more as you start afresh the next day.
Giving up sugar can be difficult. After all, it is ingrained in our society, in our meals, and in our holidays. It’s been said to be equally as addictive as cocaine. So, be kind to yourself. Talk to yourself as the most loving friend would talk to you as you slowly gain the will to win the struggle with the silent white killer.