A practical approach to quitting sugar

I talked a couple of weeks back about getting rid of addiction for cake (and some other stuff) and suggested that the way to go about it is to quit cold turkey - to go one week without the treat you're trying to rehab yourself from and then see if you still feel a deep desire to have it.

Well, this sounds so much easier than it actually is. Even though the desire to have cake will decrease dramatically if you stick it out for two days, it still may not solve the problem - the sweet tooth - in the long run. There has to be a more sustainable way to tackle your cravings. And good news, there is! It's this: get a sheet of paper, draw a vertical line down the middle, and on the left side wirte a complete and fully exhaustive list of all the sweets and treats and other dishes for which you have cravings and from which you want to free yourself. Then, on the right side, come up with a healthier alternative for each, ones that do not cause addiction or cravings. Preferably have a different substitute for all the treats.

The next time you have a craving for something, check the list, and have the substitute instead. After a while of doing this your body will begin to regard the substitutes as treats, and starts to suggest you have them, without the craving feeling and without you checking the list.

The substitutes can be anything, from green vegetables to meditating to going for a walk to a cup of tea. For example, I've managed to teach my brain to think of coffee as a treat - I have coffee every time I feel a craving for something the addiction to which I'm trying to get rid of. But you could just as well use substitutes you dislike to introduce more challenge and progress in your life. It's quite nice how you can trick and teach both your mind and body into liking stuff you thought you could never enjoy.