How I Gave Up Sugar Using Mindfulness – Part 2

This is part 2 of a three part series on how I used mindfulness to stop eating sugar.

If you’re looking for Part 1, you can find it here.

So, to carry on with the story. Over 4 months ago, I completely quit sugar. No more chocolate, no more cookies, no more yummy desserts.

Am I nuts?

Aside from the health reasons for wanting to do something like this, I was really curious how my mind and body would react, and how I could apply mindfulness to handle the inevitable sugar cravings and withdrawal.

In the video below, I continue to share with you what I’ve learned in this experiment and how you, too, can stick to a sugar free diet using the power of mindfulness, just like I have.

In this video, I show you how to stop habitually putting that sweet stuff into your mouth whenever you feel a craving or desire for it.

Basically, you want to observe the sensations of wanting a yummy sweet treat with as much acceptance, curiosity, and non-reactivity as possible. Don’t act on them or try to change them in any.

How will that help, you ask? Won’t that just make you want the stuff even more?

Watch the video and find out!

In part 3, I’ll show you a little (actually, a very big) secret that will help you a lot when doing this kind of non-reactive, mindful observation.

Once you realize this secret, it will allow you handle even the most uncomfortable, icky, or compelling sensations and thoughts, without needing to act on them or repress them.

I’ll also summarize what you’ve learned in this series and show you how to put it all together to help you use mindfulness to stop eating sugar.

If you know someone who’s been struggling to give up sugar, or struggling with food cravings in general, then this series of posts could be very helpful to them. Feel free to send them an email with the link to this post and pass it along.

Just highlight the red URL below it and copy it.

Then paste it into your email.

P.S. If you like this kind of stuff and want to discover how to develop mindfulness effectively and apply it in a simple, straightforward way, then you may be interested in signing up for my weekly blog updates.

I’ll share with you how to cultivate and apply mindfulness to transform your relationship with things like stress, anxiety, anger and other difficult emotions, based on my 20+ years of meditation experience.

I’ll also share a precise, effective, down to earth method for spiritual development (if that’s your thing), without all the fluff and hazy mystical language you’ll often run into with this kind of stuff.

If this sounds interesting to you, click here to find out more.

P.P.S. If you prefer reading to watching videos, I’ve included the full transcript below (but you’re missing out on some amazing low-budget special effects =-) ).

Now we’re going to get into the nitty gritty of applying mindfulness to sugar cravings.

By this point, you know how to identify the physical sensations and mental activity that arise when you get a hankering for some sweet stuff, and you’re familiar enough with these sensations that you can easily identify them when they arise.

If that’s not the case, then you should watch part one of this series, follow the instructions and then come back and watch this one.

When you notice these sensations arise, your task is to observe them, without reacting. Accept and be curious about the physical sensations, thoughts, and so on that arise. And do not act on them or try to change them in any way. That’s the trick.

I won’t lie, this is the hard part.

I can hear some of you grumbling about this right now, “but Nick, I don’t want these icky physical sensations and thoughts. I don’t like how they feel. I don’t like the stories I’m telling myself about them. These are the things that make me eat the sweet stuff in the first place. Why on earth would I just sit here and observe them? Won’t that make me crave sugar even more? Teach me how to get rid of them! If I can just get rid of them, I won’t have any sugar cravings.”

Well, as much as I’d like to be able to wave a magic wand and make all those uncomfortable sensations and thoughts go away, you and I both know that isn’t going to happen.

These physical sensations of craving sugar, the thoughts, mental images and stories that weave through your mind, enticing, justifying, commanding, all of these things arise in the mind as a natural process because of prior causes and conditions. In other words, your past thoughts and actions are what create your present moment experience.

And I don’t mean this in any sort of far-out woo-woo kind of way. It’s actually really easy to see.

If you don’t believe me, pull up a picture of your favourite dessert, the one you find impossible to resist, and stare at that picture for several seconds. Notice any increase in desire for sweets? If you repeat this action several times a day, I’m willing to bet that you’ll probably end up eating something with sugar in it that day.

You’re training the mind to eat something sweet when you see a picture of a delicious dessert. Do this often enough, and it basically becomes habitual. You’ve conditioned yourself.

Now, what I’m asking you to do is exactly the opposite.

When you experience craving for something with sugar in it, take no action. Do this often enough, and you will wear away at that old conditioning. After a while, that picture of your favourite dessert will result in nothing more than a little blip on your mental radar screen. “Oh, there’s that dessert again,” and that’s it. Craving gone.

But it might be pretty tough going the first few times. If you’re deeply conditioned to use sugar to fulfill various needs in your life, as most of us are, it’s going to be difficult to go against that and just observe non-reactively.

But there’s a little secret that, once you realize it, can help you a lot. And this secret can make it relatively easy to stay present with even the most painful or uncomfortable sensations, thoughts and so on.

I’ll share that secret with you in part three, where I’ll wrap this series up and help you put it all together.

So, go ahead and start observing the physical sensations, thoughts and so on, that tell you that you want to eat something with sugar in it. And do it in a curious, accepting and non-reactive way. Don’t do anything to get rid of these sensations or try to change them in any way.

Then join me next time for part 3.

I’m Nick Grabovac, thanks for watching.

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