We all know by now that sugar isn’t good for you. Too much and you’ll gain weight, age faster, become addicted to sugary sweets, have tummy troubles and much more. But trying to swear it off completely for the holidays can be downright impossible. Here are some tips to avoid eating too much sugar this holiday season, but not feel like you’re missing out either.
- Choose a few things to indulge in that you don’t eat often. There are seasonal desserts such as candy corn, pumpkin pie and Christmas cookies that don’t come around except once a year. Remember, you can get chocolate any time so do you really want the extra calories at your holiday dinner from chocolate? Plan which dessert you’d most like to have and stick to your plan. Don’t use it as an excuse to overeat this treat though.
- Be a positive thinker. If you’re constantly thinking about how you’re missing out on all the delicious desserts or how quitting sugar is too hard, you won’t have the willpower to keep going. If you have a positive attitude and tell yourself “you can do this!” often, it will be much easier to stick with your diet.
- Enlist the help of a like-minded friend. If someone in your friends circle or in your family is interested in eating healthier and skipping the sugar, keep them close at holiday parties. Remind each other why you’re doing what you’re doing and help give them the extra motivation to avoid eating all of the sugar goodness you both might be craving. You can even turn it into a game or completion with your friends or family. Whoever sticks to their guns wins a prize.
- Don’t show up to the holiday party famished. If you’re starving when you get to a party and the main dish isn’t served yet, you’re more likely to go crazy eating snacks and unhealthy ones at that. Eat a small, balanced meal every three to four hours so you don’t feel underfed. Protein rich snacks are the best for resisting cravings and drink lots of water. Which brings me to my next point…
- Make sure you’re not just thirsty as you reach for another dessert. People often mistake hunger for thirst because a dip in energy can occur when you’re dehydrated, not just hungry. Try drinking water with fruit infusions to feel like you’re getting a little something sugary.
- Chew gum or have a mint at the end of a meal to avoid post-meal grazing. Do you ever find yourself having just one more cookie or taking a few extra spoonfuls of stuffing when you’re already full? Chewing gum or having something minty alerts your brain that you’re done eating and will make you less likely to want to mess up your fresh breath with more food.
- Don’t beat yourself up and remain positive if you go overboard. If you find yourself sulking because you just ate three different desserts, forgive yourself and move on. Resolve to eat healthier and exercise a little more to compensate the extra treats you’ve eaten. Drink lots of water and green tea to detox too. Think of a holiday as one of the only days a year that you get a free pass and then do better the next day!
What is your mantra around the holidays? Do you watch your sugar intake or use the holidays as an excuse to eat whatever you want? Share with us your tips on avoiding eating too much sugar when it is everywhere!