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5 ways to change your relationship with sugar

5 ways to change your relationship with sugar

If pressed to define their relationship with sugar, many people would say, “it’s complicated.” A 2018 study found that 70% of U.S. adults are concerned about how much sugar they consume, suggesting that plenty of us struggle with a toxic inner monologue when presented with cake, cookies, and other desserts.

Why do so many of us have a confusing connection with sugar—and how do we heal our relationship with it? 

Why so many of us have a complicated relationship with sugar

If dieting had its own Disney princess movie, sugar would most certainly be the villain. “It’s hard to have a positive or neutral relationship with something that’s constantly labeled as bad or addictive,” says Claire Chewning, RD, certified intuitive eating counselor. “Additionally, many of us have likely been on restrictive diets that demonize sugar and tell us to cut out or strictly limit our carbohydrate intake. This kind of restriction can lead us to feel out of control around sugar.” 

Feeling like we’re not in the driver’s seat when we find ourselves, say, eating birthday cake can lead to outsized panic about how much sugar we’re eating. “It’s true that eating ‘too much’ sugar is not great for your health. But in truth, eating some sugar every day is actually perfectly fine,” says Emily Van Eck, RD, of Emily Van Eck Nutrition and Wellness

Telling ourselves that sugar has no place in our diet can actually result in the ingredient feeling “forbidden” and cause bingeing behaviors when we are presented with dessert. For example, maybe you eat a whole sleeve of cookies today so that you can start your diet with no sugar in the house tomorrow. 

“If you’ve ever felt out of control around sweets or like you couldn’t stop eating them, consider how any food rules or restrictions could have played a role,” says Van Eck. 

1. Resist the urge to label foods as “good” or “bad”

Van Eck points out that the language we use to talk about sugar tends to worsen our relationship with it. “Labeling foods as ‘good’ and ‘bad’ keeps you stuck with anxiety about every detail of your diet,” says Van Eck. “Labeling foods as ‘bad’ can cause us to rebel against our own rules, and eat them in quantities that are out of attunement with what our body actually wants.” 

Take a moment to reflect on how you currently think about sugar. Does it dredge up fear or anxiety? Does it make you feel out of control?…

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at Fortune | FORTUNE…