Traveling and Other Sugar Pitfalls

Traveling and Avoiding Sugar Pitfalls

Sometimes I could travel and do fine, but other times I would cave and then slide into a binge. Struggling to stay free of binges I examined what places I was most vulnerable, and in those places, what foods tended to be the the ones that started the ball rolling.

Here is an interesting fact about human behavior: we are creatures of habit. We tend to repeat the same behaviors which is why it can be hard to break bad or negatives patterns. But the good thing about this slavish trait is that we can use that knowledge about ourselves to break through the negative.

A couple years ago I read a book on habits by Charles Duhigg, called The Power of Habit, in which he layouts out the powerful nature of habits, why that is good, and why it is a challenge for us to change habits. The short version is there are three basic parts to a habit: 1) a stimulus or cue, 2) to which we respond, 3)to produce the reward or goal. The key to changing a habit is not denial or will power, but taking advantage of the first and third elements, changing only the response. So, if every evening you have an alcoholic drink (response) while watching television (the stimulus), which is relaxing( the reward);  you replace the alcoholic drink with another rewarding drink, perhaps a cup of herbal tea you enjoy. Soon the idea for the drink is for the tea, not the booze.

I realized that when I visited a family member’s house where I tended to give in to sweets, the most usual or initial food I was tripped up on was chocolate. Next time I visited I stopped at a market before going to the house and bought some of my favorite cheese and cold cuts. Now I had something to respond to the cue.

I further realized that chocolate was almost always what tripped me up because I can do some chocolate at home, very dark 85% chocolate to which I add some sliced almonds or coconut, and don’t over eat. Away from home the chocolate had a lot of sugar, and that I cannot or will ever be equipped to handle.

Now it will probably take more than one time to make the shift, but if you are determined, you can do it.

Yours in changing unhealthy habits,

Nan aka Sugarbaby

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