SWISH away sugar craving

Wanted control of refined sugar intake. Unwanted behaviour of mindless grazing on biscuits, cakes, chocolates and sweets.

SWISH away sugar craving

Posted by Amanda Hagan on

The challenge

My client is female and in her 40s. Has a craving for sweet things be it chocolate, sweets, cake, biscuits. Buys them for her husband and children so can’t avoid buying them, but she succumbs to the temptation of eating them. Finds she grazes on them without actually enjoying them but can’t stop herself.

The effect

My client felt sluggish and upset that she was harming her body. When she eats sweets she gets pains in her tummy. Her triggers were being bored, urge of a sugar rush and sometimes her husband's negative behaviour. Her urge happened anytime after lunch, at petrol stations when buying sweets for the children and at cinemas where there's usually a 'pick'n'mix' bar.

I asked what happened when she had this urge.

Indoors it was the sight of the cupboard, which housed the sweets and other sugary things. She mentally heard the cupboard doors opening and a fanfare flourish, felt excitement as sweets reminded her of having them in her childhood as a treat. Her head also buzzes, telling her not to succumb.

When out, she opens the sweets' packet before she gets back to the car, and in the cinema, eats them before even getting into the screen and to her seat. My client usually used tapping - Emotional Freedom Techniques on herself but it would just delay the inevitable.


Having taken all details to faciliate a Well Formed Outcome, I decided to use a SWISH pattern to swap the unwanted behaviour for a desired one. I asked my client to associate herself with eyes closed (that is to be in the moment) whilst re-enacting exactly what was happening before she ate the sugary item. In this case is was the item coming towards her mouth, so we used this as a trigger picture and took a mental snap shot of it. She put that image to one side, opened her eyes and then we created a desired outcome - dancing in the kitchen, have healthy skin, flatter tummy and a cleaner feeling body.

With eyes closed again, I asked my client to mentally shrink the desired outcome picture to the size of a postage stamp and blew up the unwanted state as big as possible. On my instruction, she mentally swapped the unwanted for the wanted. We did this about 5 times until the unwanted behaviour became blurred. We future paced that afternoon, the petrol garage, the cinema trips and longer car trips. 


My client felt the whole experience was very relaxing, seemingly simple and quick. Future pacing...to this afternoon.

'I’ve no urge to go to the cupboard and even if I do have to go to that cupboard, I can’t see the sweets in there, even now'.

....when you pay for the petrol? 'I see myself buying the sweets. Handing the packets over to the children but not having one when they offer them to me. I’m salivating and feeling sick at the thought of them'.

....and the cinema? 'I can’t see the ‘pick ‘n’ mix bar. It’s like someone’s erased it. I can still see everything else in the cinema but not the sweets’ area'.

....and longer car journeys? 'I can see me putting a healthier package together for my children and myself so that we’re not tempted in eating just the junk; that we see the sweets as a treat or dessert after the healthier option has been eaten. Hopefully then we’ll be full and not want them anyway'.

I received a text later that day. 'I've had my usual cuppa but without the biscuit, Thank you'. Since then, my client has had sugar fixes but has more control.

Amanda Hagan
Amanda Hagan

Voice your Mind - Master NLP Practitioner- Empowering you to be the BEST version of yourself.