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Kick Your Sugar Habit With…Treats!

PATRICK AFB, Fla. -- Here in the 21st Century, the truth is finally percolating through the media and blogosphere that refined carbs, not fats, are Dietary Enemy #1. For those of us with diabetes, that is a daily truth. Refined carbs bad, whole food carbs with lots of fiber, good; we've heard this many times. Atkins, South Beach, our own creative diets, we try to live them, but it's not so easy.

Junk-food sugars and starches, like candies, cookies, cakes, most breads, and sorry, but white rice and potatoes, too, should have no large place at our dining tables. For some of us with "sugar issues", they should be banished forever. But they're so darn GOOD! I have yet to meet a human being who can just push away a fresh-baked cinnamon bun or a fragrant bowl of steamed rice. Have you? How to kick the junksugar habit is a topic of agony for
most of us. But I have found one idea that works very well for my family and friends.

The next time you're at the Commissary, shop normally; fill  your cart with all the things you
eat every week. Keep the receipt. When you get home, highlight  every item that counts as "junk carb". Then add up the total cost of those items. You may be surprised. You may be shocked. The next time, shop as you did before, but leave off at least a few of the junk carb items, maybe just two or three. When you get home, enter the cost of those items you DIDN'T buy in a notebook or Excel sheet. The next time you shop, cut just a couple more junk carb
items from the cart. Add the cost of what you didn't buy to your running total. At the end of the
month, see what money you saved by not buying those junk carbs.

OK, so now you're feeling virtuous, but not exactly rewarded for doing without so many delicious foods. For instant gratification (my personal favorite), take your total saved, and buy something with it that's fun for you, or the whole family. Something you'd never normally buy, but you really want. I usually go for music, perfume, or a really great bottle of wine. If you're  OK with delaying your reward, add it to a fund for a vacation you've been wanting for a long time, a new piece of sports equipment or car accessory, or a frivolous staycation. You'll be surprised by how little time it takes to reach your goal. And your health and fitness will improve, too.