Get a handle on your love of sweets

It's been a week since Valentine's Day, and I'm still indulging in sweets! How can I get through this month - or any month, for that matter - without constantly giving in to temptation?

Answer provided by Debby Benjamin, RN, MBA, Providence Care Management

February is the month of love, and with it comes hearts, flowers and candy - lots and lots of candy. Unfortunately, this show of love can leave men and women with what some affectionately refer to as love handles. Don't despair. Breaking up with sugar is hard to do, and we're not advocating that you swear it off altogether. Set - and practice - some reasonable limits, and you'll be sweeter on yourself than if you give in to temptation one more time.

Here are some quick tips to help you resist temptation:

  1. Keep track of your treats. It's OK to have chocolate - just plan for it. That way, those calories are counted as part of your daily intake, and they generate far less guilt.
  2. Step up your commitment. Extra steps can help make up for extra goodies. Walking is the simplest form of exercise - and unlike too many treats, too many steps will rarely trip up your efforts to feel better.
  3. Don't set yourself up to fail. Does someone at work always bring those cute frosted cookies and leave them in the break room? Know your negative triggers and steer clear.
  4. Adopt moderation as your mantra. It's not any one thing that will sabotage your health. We get into trouble when we consistently overdo it and are unable to practice that m-word … mod … moderation. Think of it this way: If you were eating prunes, you'd know when to say when.

Remember, a little sweetness goes a long way. When possible, indulge in all things calorie-free - such as hugs and kisses, and the lingering sweetness of saying "I love you." Being good to yourself can help you stick around to give - and receive - a lot more love in your lifetime.

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