Candy and SugarCredit:

It never fails that after a holiday like Halloween (and going forward through the end of the year) that people start bringing their goodies in to the office to share with everyone, if for no other reason than to get them out of their own house! These last few months of the year are the toughest for sugar addicts trying to reform their ways.

For a while after writing my previous article "Eight Benefits of Kissing Sugar Goodbye," I was doing pretty well, but after finding myself in a bit of a relapse, I need some additional reminders of why I should avoid all these sugary temptations!

1. Starve the Addiction

I always think it will be good idea to have "just one" piece of candy or cookie that someone brings in. I'm always wrong. Who am I kidding? I can't eat just one! If I haven't eaten a lot of sugar in a while, I do start to lose my taste for it, but the more I start to nibble and eat "just one," the more my body starts to scream "Give me more!" Before I know it, I'm eating it by the handful with no end in sight. It really becomes a downward spiral from there, and all the negative consequences of eating sugar start to rear their ugly heads. Really - it's better not to start.

2. Healthier Teeth

We all know that sugar is bad for your teeth. The plaque-forming bacteria in your mouth feed on sugary substances (and other carbohydrates)[2], and it's the acidic byproduct produced by these bacteria that contributes to the formation of cavities, gum disease[1], and the like. I know from personal experience that if I've been eating a lot of sugar, my teeth and gums start to develop a sensitivity to cold which makes drinking or eating anything cold excruciating! And of course no one looks forward to sitting in the dentist chair under the drill to have cavities filled.

3. Increased Nutrients for Your Body

If you're not eating sugar, presumably you're eating something containing more nutritive value instead. Veggies, fruit, meat, nuts, cheese, etc. all contain nutrients that are vital to your body's well-being. If you fill up on candy and sweets, you don't leave room for what your body really needs to properly function. If you want to look, feel, and function your best, choose to fuel your body with foods that give you what you need.

For years, this point about nutrition really didn't matter to me; I felt healthy enough, and I didn't see any need to change. As I approach middle age, and I learn more about the proper functioning of my bodily systems, the more I realize how quickly my body responds in a positive way to "real" food and more healthful options. It's so great to be able to think clearly and not feel sluggish all afternoon!

4. A Sense of Freedom

If you're not enslaved to the addictive power of sugar, there is a sense of freedom! You're not worried about walking past the free samples in the bakery section or the colorful array of choices in the candy isle, because sugar no longer has a hold on you. If you've been eating foods that are healthy and good for you, you're not weighed down by food guilt. Kick sugar to the curb!

Whether you are motivated by weight loss, physical appearance, personal health and energy, or the effect your food decisions have on others, feel good about your choices and enjoy the freedom that ensues!