The challenges of sugar dependence are real, and fighting their impact can be difficult to navigate. One of the hardest parts of managing sugar dependence can be managing social pressures. Whether it be pressure from friends, family, your spouse, or even coworkers—social pressures can make it more challenging to successfully fight sugar dependence and are often unavoidable. Let’s discuss some tips on how to make this more manageable.

First, it can be helpful to anticipate the situations where temptations may arise. Of course, it is not expected that you completely avoid social situations because you certainly can and should enjoy birthday parties or a night out with friends. In these situations, though, it can be helpful to approach them differently than you would before. For example, if a dessert is being offered to you at a friend’s birthday get-together, you can try taking only a small bite of the cake or ice cream at the event and then simply walk away. Another helpful tip, if you’re feeling stumped, is to accept the dessert offering by saying that you are full but would love to take a piece home with you. With this, you can then conveniently “forget” to grab the dessert before you leave to avoid the temptation.

Another way to navigate social pressures is to prepare a list of verbal responses to have in your back pocket for when you need them. For example, whenever attempting to make changes initially, it can be challenging to deal with the responses from your coworkers. If you choose to eat an apple in place of a cookie at lunch, you may feel like the lone wolf. It is important to remember that you don’t have to feel this way.

As humans, we naturally want things to be uniform and in harmony. Don’t let the group’s opinions impact your journey to improving your health and ending your dependence on sugar. Some responses to have in your back pocket for situations where peer pressures arise include:

Again, remember that you do not need to justify your behavior or choices to anyone.

Another great way to manage social pressures is by always showing up to events with a plan. What I mean by this is: Complete a menu scan before you arrive at a restaurant or gathering. A quick menu scan will allow you to check out the nutrition information on different food items. This way, you don’t have to guess what is loaded with sugar whenever the social event rolls around. Always remember that you can ask restaurants to leave off certain items, too—such as the barbecue sauce, which is typically packed with added sugar.

The final tip is don’t be afraid to be honest with pushy people whenever you’re in social situations. A great way to do this is by telling them that their comments and remarks appear to be an attempt to sabotage your success. With a response such as this, your friends, family, or coworkers should respect your declination and hopefully back off your case a little.

Again, sugar dependence is nothing short of challenging. Finding simple ways to help you manage these challenges can be very impactful on your journey to ending sugar dependence and living a life that is free from the chokehold of sugar. For more tips and tricks on navigating sugar dependence, check out my new book, Sugarless: A 7-Step Plan to Uncover Hidden Sugars, Curb Your Cravings, and Conquer Your Addiction.

References

1. Avena, N. Sugarless: A 7-Step Plan to Uncover Hidden Sugars, Curb Your Cravings, and Conquer Addiction. Union Square & Co. 2023.

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Managing Social Pressures Around Sugar

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02.04.2024

The challenges of sugar dependence are real, and fighting their impact can be difficult to navigate. One of the hardest parts of managing sugar dependence can be managing social pressures. Whether it be pressure from friends, family, your spouse, or even coworkers—social pressures can make it more challenging to successfully fight sugar dependence and are often unavoidable. Let’s discuss some tips on how to make this more manageable.

First, it can be helpful to anticipate the situations where temptations may arise. Of course, it is not expected that you completely avoid social situations because you certainly can and should enjoy birthday parties or a night out with friends. In these situations, though, it can be helpful to approach them differently than you would before. For example, if a dessert is being offered to you at a friend’s birthday get-together, you can try taking........

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