Egkrateia is a Greek word and means “one who holds himself in” or “the virtue of one who masters his desires and passions”. Like any other addiction or habit, if it owns us then we don’t own ourselves. Sugar is both physically and emotionally addictive. Like alcohol some people can have a little here and there and are fine but for most of us it is a problem. Americans eat an average of 22 teaspoons of added sugar per day! To put that into perspective imagine yourself sitting down with a sugar bowl and a teaspoon and eating 22 teaspoons full. If you have any extra pounds chances are sugar is the reason. Sugar is a major culprit in causing or advancing:
obesity - depression - diabetes - gum disease - Precambrian - eczema - cancer - wrinkles - food addiction
Artificial sweeteners are not the answer either as these lower metabolism, contribute to weight gain and have harmful side effects.
Try these things instead:
1. Eat frequently. Never go longer than 3 hours without eating. When we are hungry we crave the simple carbs like sugar and when we are hungry we have less power to resist.
2. Eat protein with each meal. It will keep you satisfied longer and reduce the craving for sugar.
3. Drink a lot of water. The need for water can be easily confused with hunger or food cravings. Herbal teas can also be helpful. Try rooibos. It is a little sweet, good for re-hydration and it is a pretty red color.
4. Keep some frozen berries and yogurt on hand. When everyone else is having dessert thaw those berries and put some yogurt on them. Maybe even some whipped cream. It is way tastier than cake!
5. My personal favorite. Develop a taste for very dark, high quality chocolate. Make sure it is 70% cocoa or more (you might need to start at 60% and work up). Try Green & Blacks or Theo’s both available at Fred Meyers in the natural food section. A little piece of that with some raw nuts can satisfy for hours.
6. When all else fails eat honey. Honey is a real food with nutrients and other health properties and it doesn’t seem to be as addictive as sugar.
Keep at it and someday you will walk by the dessert table knowing that it has absolutely no power over you because you are “egkrateia”.