Articles / How to Overcome Sugar Indoctrination

vintage ad: babies begin life on dextrose sugar
Babies begin life on dextrose sugar?

You and I have been brainwashed into thinking that eating sugary junk food is a positive thing.

Advertising has elevated sugary sweets to make them a part our daily activities in ways that nobody knew to question for an entire generation.

For instance, of the lists below, which set of activities would you most associate eating a slice of chocolate cake and a scoop of ice cream?

  • Birth. Wedding. Graduation. Won the game. Good grades.
  • Death. Divorce. Dropping out. Lost the game. Bad grades.

Most folks would say the positive list. However, if you associated sweets with both lists, then the food industry has won twice.

Eating has been part of celebrations for centuries, and if consumption of sweetened food products has been a big part of your life, then your lifetime of conditioning isn’t going to end after you read one short article. However, you can at least get started in reversing some of your ingrained behaviors by heeding the following advice.

Change Your Mind

Stop letting companies dictate what you value. Create your own opinions and make new associations with food. How do you do that? In the same way the food companies did it—by relentless repetition. Do the following steps over and over again:

Prepare Your Own Food

Make your own healthy snacks. Try different things: carrots and celery. Olives and pickles. Make some sugar-free snacks and see what you like.

Make Eating Fun

Put colorful stickers on your food containers. Every time you see the sticker on the packaging of the food you made, you’ll be reminded that you are in control of your life, and your health. Also, make colorful food.

Make Mistakes

Nobody is perfect. Going sugar-free is not an all-or-nothing light switch.

Celebrate & Replace

Eat healthy snacks while doing the things you normally do. If you liked having cookies while watching movies, replace the cookies with something healthy, and celebrate! You have to associate healthy foods with fun or else you will always feel a sense of depraved FOMO.

Stop Apologizing

Just because the majority of people do something doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do. So many people would rather fit in than do their own thing and risk the possibility of standing out. You don’t need to make a statement. You don’t have to be a hero. Just quietly stay off sweets.

Avoid Ads

My partner, Gwenn, mutes the television whenever commercials come on. At first, when we were dating, I thought it was peculiar. Then I watched a show without her one day, and the noise from the advertisements was overwhelming. Now I do my best to avoid ads in any form, if I can help it. By not looking or listening, I am diminishing the influence that companies have over my health, and my wallet.