How do you combat a sweet tooth?
Post this question on social media and you will get a ton of suggestions.
Here are a few of the ideas I've seen floating around the internet:
Drink more water
Eat more protein
Find a "healthier" alternative
Brush your teeth
Give in to the craving
While these recommendations can be helpful in the moment, they are temporary solutions. They don't get to the root of the problem... your sweet tooth takes control and you can't get back on track. You don't know what to do, or how to stop this from happening.
I struggled with a sweet tooth for a long time. I tried all the quick fixes mentioned above (and more), but it didn't go away.
In order to get a handle on my sweet tooth cycle for good, I had to get curious about my strong desire for sweets.
Instead of asking "how do I combat my sweet tooth", I started asking "why do I want sweets again?"
Every time I noticed my sweet tooth calling, I asked more questions:
What am I thinking right now?
How am I feeling?
Why do I want something sweet?
Will sugar fix it (whatever is happening in the moment)?
The more I asked and answered these questions, the clearer it became that having a sweet tooth is an intense craving for sugar. It's a craving that eventually turns into a habit.
Habits can be broken... including food habits.
For many people (myself included) sweets provided comfort at difficult times throughout life. In addition, sugar is often introduced for celebration and/or reward. It's no wonder a sweet tooth is formed. Sugar becomes a solution to feel better in the moment.
The key is to find a new solution.
Instead of giving into your sweet tooth, or trying another temporary fix, I'm offering a new option the next time your sweet tooth strikes. Accept that you're having an intense craving. Stop fighting it.
Then, ask yourself these 2 questions and listen for the answers:
What do I really need in this moment?
Will sugar have the answer?
Practice asking and answering these 2 questions and your sweet tooth temptations will change.
Once you're on to yourself, change is inevitable.