Ever wonder what it’s like to kick a heroin habit?
Odds are you’ve got a hint as to how excruciating it can be. If you’ve ever tried to change your diet or make a commitment to healthier eating, there’s your window to the soul.
Sugar and fat are addictive, too. Research has confirmed that they trigger dopamine in your brain in the same way as horse, opium, and morphine.
Clearly, the hard drugs wreck your body much faster, but really, damage is damage even if the warning signs aren’t as drastic. Sooner or later, they’re gonna show up.
Good health should obviously be a high priority to everyone, but especially you if you’re a motivated marketer. Your quest to achieve and maintain the Dot Com lifestyle will ring hollow if you’re not in shape to enjoy its many rewards.
However, anyone who’s tried it well understands that kicking bad sugar, salt, and fat habits is a daunting task. Diets can yo-yo, and healthier foods often don’t seem as appealing.
Our bodies naturally change over time, so it’s logical that we should utilize that fact to improve what we eat and drink.
We need to train our taste buds to like healthier choices.
Let’s take a closer look at what we’ve got to convince:
Nothing happens suddenly, of course. The process calls for repeated exposure and patience. These suggestions should help with the transition:
Interestingly enough, new studies are confirming an ironic revelation about fats. We like them as a flavor ingredient, but we don’t like them on their own:
To reduce your fat cravings, try these substitutions:
- Switch to healthy fats from vegetable oils … coconut oil and avocados will help you feel satisfied; it also goes without saying that oil-soaked junk food is off the menu.
- Switch to applesauce from butter when baking … they each have the same consistency.
- Switch to Greek yogurt from sour cream … its surprisingly tasty on tacos, baked potatoes, and the like.
One recent study has shown that when people switch to a low-salt diet, over the ensuing weeks, they prefer the taste of salt-free soup more and more and the taste of salty soup less and less.
To reduce your salt cravings, try these actions:
- Eliminate processed foods … this includes deli meats and frozen foods; switch to whole foods instead.
- Switch to spices from salt … consider the herb-based Herbamare, Mrs Dash, or Trader Joe’s 21-Seasoning Salute.
- Eat real food … this means more home cooking; take-out can be packed with sodium.
Added sugar doesn’t naturally occur in a food — it’s added during processing — so don’t confuse added sugars with total sugars, which includes both naturally occurring and added sugars.
To reduce your sugar cravings, try these actions:
- Flavor your water … adding a slice of cucumber or lemon or a mint can satisfy your desire for a bit of sweetness.
- Mix your own yogurt … switch to plain yogurt and add your own fruit.
- Switch from sugar to spice … cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg can be effective sugar alternatives in oatmeal, coffee, and tea.
These suggestions are all …
- backed by research,
- not trendy but consistent,
- inexpensive, and
- simple to implement.
In short, they work.
The key is giving them a few weeks to take effect.
Dr David Katz has published nearly 200 scientific articles and textbook chapters, innumerable blogs and columns, nearly 1000 newspaper articles, and authored or co-authored 15 books to date, including multiple editions of textbooks in both nutrition and preventive medicine.
Author of Disease Proof, Dr Katz offers these simple, common sense tips to train your palate to encourage a healthier diet:
- Give another chance to foods you dislike … as your taste buds are changing over time, whether you’re trying to train them or not.
- Pair foods you dislike with those you do … if you’re not into asparagus, for example, but like curried chicken, have the asparagus on the side and mix it in.
- Make small swaps … switch gradually to whole grains from processed grains like white rice, for example, by mixing in one-third to start, half-&-half the next time, and so on.
- Turn off a craving … if you get fixated on sugar, for instance, choose a a food with a contrasting flavor, like half a grapefruit, a sour or bitter orange, or switch to a palate-cleansing flavor, like mint.
- Limit flavors in a single meal … too many choices at one time can stimulate your appetite and cause you to overeat; sStick to one entrée and one or two small sides.
None of this is tough. You’re merely directing a part of your body to do something it’s going to do anyway: change.
And it’ll be for the better. For the rest of your life.