UNITED STATES—I will be the first to admit it I love a great dessert, but I know for my health I cannot consume it on a daily basis. I recently had a health crisis that forced me to change my diet drastically. I feel like I attempt to eat healthy as much as I can. I love to juice and do it at least once a day. However, I’m working adamantly to carve sugar out of my life, and I find it extremely difficult because it seems like sugar is in almost everything.

I no longer consume soda, I’ve done my best to eliminate sweets as much as I can, but I will have a cookie or two at least once every 2-3 days, I try to consume water over any other beverage next to milk. If I’m not drinking either of those it’s a smoothie, and when it comes to a snack, it’s crackers, cheese, some veggies or fruit. However, even in the fruits I consume you still have that factor of sugar. So what is the best advice for not giving into that food temptation? If you don’t buy it, you cannot be tempted to eat it.

Yes, I know it sounds crazy, but it is so true America. That is the problem with the grocery store; you have to be careful what you put into that cart. A lot of the time, it tends to be a direct result of trying to ensure others in the household have snacks they want, even though it’s obvious it’s an item that you know you will be tempted to consume if you see it or it’s in your presence.

On top of that, you can take steps to find foods that are just as satisfying as your guilty pleasure, but with healthier choices is key to satisfying that craving. You cut calories, slice fat and sugars that normally appear in those decadent dishes or treats that you crave. Look, I’m not going to say deprive yourself of those treats and items, because you will be tempted as long as you live. You are allowed to have cheat days, and there is nothing wrong with indulging once in a while. Heck, we do it all the time and you should not feel ashamed if you do.

Just don’t place yourself in a situation where you overindulge to the point where you get sick or it takes a major toll on your health. That serves no purpose in the long run. It may have tasted good, but now your body is forced to pay the ultimate price with you either being gravely sick or immobile to move. Now, tell me who does that actually benefit? Exactly, no one.

Another tip that I’ve come to embrace is try new foods or dishes that you may have been afraid to try. When you experiment sometimes you find yourselves loving things that you thought you would hate. I’ll be the first to admit it though; I’ll never eat pita chips with hummus ever again in my life. Why? I got so sick once, I thought I was near death, and that is all it takes for me to never eat something again. The same applies for pumpkin rolls or any type of rolled sponge cake. My body just doesn’t agree with it, and now that I know that there is no purpose whatsoever in torturing myself.

Temptation is not ALL psychological because sometimes you have the power to prevent that craving from getting the best of you. JUST DON’T BUY IT! Find an alternative, it may not be exactly what you want, but you can still perhaps get that same satisfaction with a lighter dish or snack that you never expected to taste just as good. Remember in the long run, your body reacts how you treat it. If you’re good to your body it will be good to you in return, but it’s okay to splurge and treat yourself once in a while. Heck, you work hard you deserve the opportunity to indulge in something worthwhile every blue moon.

Written By Kelsey Thomas