Cutting Back on Artificial Sweeteners.
My sweet tooth is completely jacked up.
Bypassing the dessert table isn’t a tough choice. I can skip the brownies and pie since the Great Palette Change of 2010 (when I was pregnant and my body decided that chocolate was gross and seafood was suddenly on the approved list) and now that I’ve been off the gluten stuff since August of last year, avoiding sweet treats has been a no-brainer (because if I have gluten, my body becomes a vessel of extreme bloat – no effing thank you).
But oh holy cow do I love coffee, and the amount of sweetener I would add to a cup of coffee was abysmal.
I think my taste buds ended up a little warped as a result of drinking diet soda when I was a kid. After my diabetes diagnosis in 1986, Equal replaced sugar in my house, and the sweet power of Equal is eleven billion times sweeter than regular sugar. (Not entirely true – 160-220 times sweeter than sugar seems to be the information I found online. Correct me if I’m wrong, please?) Convincing my tongue that less sweet is sweet enough has taken some time.
Over the last few months, I’ve been actively cutting back the amount of artificial sweetener I’m cramming into my coffee cup. At one point, I was using three Splenda in one iced coffee, and for me that felt like way too much. So, week by week, I tried to use less. The first few days it was two and a half packets, in an attempt to show my tastebuds that less is more. After a few weeks, I had cut back to one packet. (And one packet helped, because then I felt like I could let go of that matchy-matchy OCD thing.)
Trying to cut back on artificial sweeteners and am down to half a packet of Splenda in my coffee … down from three. #supersweet
— Kerri / Diabetes (@sixuntilme) January 12, 2015
And now I’m using half of a packet, or sometimes none at all (depending on how nice the coffee/milk combo is). My goal is to make “none” the new standard.
It took some time to adjust to the lack of sweet. My body craved that cloyingly sweet taste bud burst, but weaning was the way to go for me because cutting out sweetener entirely and all at once would have been an exercise in futility. I’m not there yet, but working to make this a “habit of less” because I’m ready to ditch sweetener as much as possible.
It’s hard, though. Sometimes I just want to rub the contents of a packet of Truvia on my gums. (Too much?)
Have you ever worked to ditch a habit? How did you do it? I think the process of weaning is BORING and if there are ways to trick my mouth into not caring about sweetener, I’d love a tip or two.