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Image by Sharon McCutcheon



I am a 21 year old Division 1 college cheerleader, so keeping my bad eating habits in check is vital for me to look, feel, and perform my best every day. I am currently starting my 11th year as a cheerleader, but I have loved being active and participating in numerous sports all my life. Because my lifestyle is so active, I know that I need to fuel my body correctly and not indulge too much in unhealthy food. I have never followed a diet because I believe they are too restrictive and cause cravings to become more intense, which only leads to binge eating. Instead I still allow myself to have sweets and fast food, but not as frequently and in small portions. The two bad eating habits that I have struggled with the most are eating too much sugar/sweets, and snacking too much throughout the day. I will address these habits and give tips on how to overcome them in this article.

Image by David Calavera

Eating Too Much Sugar/Sweets:

 Of all my cravings, sweets are what I crave the most; ice cream is my weakness and I crave it almost every day. I often find myself wanting sweets many times throughout the day and it’s hard for me to restrain myself from eating them. Some ways that I limit my sugar intake are by having less sweets in the house, highly minimizing the amount of juice and soda that I drink, and finding healthier alternatives to eat instead.

One of the best ways I have found to slowly decrease my sugar cravings is to simply buy less at the store. I would not recommend completely ditching all sweets at once, but rather slowly decreasing the amount you normally buy. At first you may be upset that you don’t have as many sweets in the house when you crave them, but very quickly your body will get used to eating less sugar and not crave it as much. I was used to having dessert almost every day, but now I only buy a carton of ice cream once every month or two. Over time your cravings will decrease and you won’t eat as much sugar without even noticing it very much. Buying less sweets at the store will save you money and help you overcome eating too much sugar. Allow yourself to still have sweets, just limit the serving size and decrease how often you eat them. 

Image by Anthony Espinosa

A source of sugar that many people don’t think so much about are in the drinks we have all the time. Even juice, which is advertised as healthy, has much more sugar in it than you would think. One simple way to cut down on your sugar consumption is to stop drinking so much juice and soda. I drink almost exclusively water every day and no longer crave flavored drinks. Start by replacing some of your drinks with water to slowly lower the amount of sweet drinks you have. If you are not someone who likes to drink something without flavor, then drink juice but dilute it with water and slowly increase how much you dilute it over time. Reducing how much sugary drinks you have will cut down on the total amount of sugar you consume throughout the day without much change to your daily life.