Confessions of a Cheap Candy Junkie

March 13, 2015

I never met a piece of cheap candy that I didn’t like. Call them out M and M’s, Kit Kat, Chunky, Hershey’s Kisses, etc. So how does one be healthy and skinny while maintaining this addiction to cheap candy? This addiction of mine can be translated to any addictive behavior that you might have.

Number one: avoidance. Anything in life is easier if the temptation is not there. Remove the source from your life; for example, there is no cheap candy in my house. There is no cheap candy in any of my offices. That is not to say that I do not indulge periodically. It takes all of my strength at the checkout counter of the market or the pharmacy to not purchase candy. That is why they place in there, right?

Number two: moderation is the key to life. This is true for eating, drinking, and exercising and even cheap candy addictions. Life is short so unless you have a destructive addiction that is interfering with your day-to-day functioning, moderation is the solution. This is not true for people with true substance abuse, as their doctors and counselors will tell them.

So what about all of the people who claim to believe in no sugar? Sugar is a building block for the human body. Is it healthier to get your sugar through fruit? Of course it is, but every once in a while, indulging in a small amount of sugar via candy is never going to be harmful. Again moderation is key.

Guilt is the third way to avoid unwanted behaviors, such as cheap candy addiction. Unfortunately, guilt moderates a lot of our behavior. We wish this wasn’t the case, but it is the case, so when I eat a piece of cheap candy I feel guilty. I don’t want to eat it, I know it’s not healthy, I know I’m going to have to work extra hard to burn it off, so the guilt is helpful in this case.

Number four, I call “Move On” so you eat it, you own it, and you move on. You know that there will always be time afterword’s to get back on track. If you usually eat healthy and exercise, a small portion of candy is never going to change your life for the worse.

How did these above principles translate to the practice of medicine or life for that matter?  Let’s discuss avoidance in terms of bad medical habits such as overeating, over rinking, smoking, eating fatty foods etc. Learn avoidance as a key for healthy behaviors. As we discussed previously moderation, for example do not become an exercise addict. Three to four days a week of vigorous 20 to 30 minutes of exercise is great for your heart. Guilt is a great motivator that I use in my practice, for example if a patient comes to see me and they haven’t done what I’ve asked them, if they haven’t got a mammogram or they haven’t gotten a colonoscopy or a pap smear, guilt works like magic. In terms of moving on, as I always say to patients, there is later today, there is tomorrow and there is the day after that. There’s always time to make positive changes, don’t beat yourself up for what you’ve done, just correct it and “Move On.”