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Yes, that’s my wastebasket, with evidence of my sweet tooth. We all know that sugar is bad for us, and there is mounting evidence that it has addictive qualities. I think that the fact that I continue to eat sweets is the source of my lack of progress toward weight loss this year. Since I provide simple carbs for fuel every few hours, my body has no need to make the effort to break down fat and use it as fuel.

I rarely eat processed food, so I don’t eat foods with hidden sugars and I don’t add sugar to foods. In fact, I rarely use sugar at all. Geneva cookies and Lindor truffles are another story. I like sweets, and if they are in my house, I will eat them. Not having them in the house is an obvious solution. My husband doesn’t have a sweet tooth, though he will eat sweets if they’re around.

Somehow, I end up with these tasty treats in the house.

So I looked up how to stop eating sweets. Discussions of this topic tend to focus on hidden sugars and sweet drinks. Otherwise, they just say to quit eating sweets. I didn’t find this useful.

So I observed my behavior and found three times when I was likely to eat sweets. I have a habit of eating dessert, for one thing, and I am likely to turn to sweets and caffeine in the afternoon when I get tired at work or even just when I’m working intensely.

Sugar eaten with a meal is not as harmful as sugar eaten by itself or with a shot of caffeine in a self-medication fix at a low energy point.

So I stopped snacking. “I’m not much of a snacker,” I said to myself, in clear defiance of reality. I have read that people who use terms that describe themselves are more successful at making changes than people who say things like, “I’m not supposed to snack” or “I have to quit snacking.” So I just remarked to myself that I’m not much of a snacker, and I have not had a snack since.

Yep. Unlikely as it seems, that’s all it took.

I’m still eating dessert, but I think that will go next. I haven’t thought of the right phrase yet. “I don’t keep sweets in the house” is not the same as a self-description. “I’m not much of a sweet-eater,” I could say, I guess. But that makes me feel like Augustine, asking God for chastity… but not yet.

Halloween is right around the corner, and that begins the season of sweets. I don’t really want to miss pecan pie, mince pie, Buche de Noel, Christmas cookies, and special chocolates in a Christmas stocking. But I also don’t want to immerse myself in sugar from now till New Year’s.

Fortunately, I’m not much of a snacker. And maybe I’m the kind of person who ends lunch with a demitasse of espresso and a twist of lemon.