Whether it’s Halloween candy, Thanksgiving pie or Christmas cookies, the holiday season is sure to bring one thing: temptation. And, while you may have indulged on everything in sight in years past, this year will be different. There are countless reasons to do so, too; aside from the fact that over-eating can cause notorious seasonal weight gain, sugar has been proven to be an addictive part of a person’s diet. In fact, some research shows that it has the same addictive effect on the brain as drugs do. Avoid the sugar highs and lows this holiday season with the following 5 tips, designed to help you steer clear and feel great every single day of November and December this year.
5 Ways to Avoid Sugary Sweets This Holiday Season
1. Stay Hydrated
This is true year-round: many people misread the body’s craving for water as a craving for food and, more specifically, sugary food. That’s because, without water, the liver has trouble releasing its stores of glycogen into the bloodstream. This causes your body to set off an alarm for you to feed it some sugary foods to make up for it. It ends up being a false alarm, of course, and you crave sweets that you don’t really need. This can be a big problem over the holidays when you have ample and seemingly endless access to them. The best way to avoid this problem is to drink plenty of water. If you have a hankering for something sweet, promise that you’ll down a big glass of water before you indulge — if the craving remains, then you can have something sweet, although fruit will better sate your need for sugar and water. You should also keep track of your alcohol and caffeine consumption, as both can cause you to dehydrate. Compensate with extra water and stay away from the cookie jar!
2. Bring Your Own Snacks
If you know that you’re going to a holiday party or another event where you’ll be tempted by unhealthy snacks, prepare yourself in advance. Bring along enough healthy snacks to tide you over and keep you from feeling left out while everyone else is noshing. There are plenty of satisfying, easy-to-make snacks that you can easily carry along with you, too; a bit of thought before you head out could save you from over-indulging at the dessert table.
3. Be Open About What You’re Doing
People can be a bit… pushy… when it comes to sharing food over the holiday season. And, while you definitely don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, you should make it clear that you’re trying to steer clear of sugary sweets this year. If you’re upfront, then perhaps your friends and family won’t be so pushy when it comes time for dessert. Every little bit of help and support will help, trust us.
4. Sweat It Out
A great way to keep blood sugar levels in check? Hit the gym! A good sweat session will help you banish the stress that can creep up over the holidays and cause you to grab for sugary sweets and comfort foods. A few extra holiday workouts will also assuage your concern should you find yourself having a bit of dessert over the holidays (more on that below).
5. Say “Yes” to What’s Special
Does grandma only bake her Christmas cake once a year? Have you had a slice every holiday since you had teeth? Does it feel like Christmas without it? If you answered “yes,” “yes,” “no,” then you should give yourself a bit of a break when Grandma pulls her special cake out of the oven this year. If you want to indulge in sugary sweets for a handful of days over the holiday season, then you should allow yourself to do so. But make sure that your indulgences are for something that’s really worth it.Most importantly, though, don’t beat yourself up or stress about the fact that you did say “yes” to a slice or a cookie: the stress or feelings of failure might cause you to give up on your quest. No matter what, know that you’re doing your best and that you’ll likely come out of this holiday season healthier than any holiday season you’ve experienced before.
About the Author
Kacey Mya Bradley is a lifestyle blogger for “The Drifter Collective.”Throughout her life, she has found excitement in the world around her. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations, cultures, and styles, while communicating these endeavors through her passion for writing and expression. Her love for the world around her is portrayed through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts.