Fall is here and the holiday season is quickly approaching. Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, and Christmas ensure there will be endless food options and sweet treats involved.
The average American consumes roughly 19.5 tsp of added sugar daily, which is roughly 66 pounds of added sugar per year. The holiday season is a time where mindless eating thrives and can be the perfect time to drift away from our healthy habits and normal eating routine.
Remember that being mindful is being present with your mind and body so that they complement your actions and intentions.
Halloween candy, pumpkin spice lattes, Santa cookies, and apple pie are all things we may be surrounded with over the holidays. Everyone can enjoy a treat every once in awhile, but for many, the holiday sugar indulgences can wake up those sugar cravings and lead them in a downward spiral, leading to feelings of guilt and regret. We want the holidays to be an enjoyable and stress free time, so let’s plan accordingly to avoid those feeling and embrace healthy through the holidays.
If you are someone who struggles with sugar cravings there are numerous ways to help you navigate those holiday parties and family gatherings.
- The 3 bite rule- a great tool for portion control. We should not deny ourselves our most favorite foods as this is where unhealthy relationships with food can begin. If holiday potlucks and parties give you anxiety, try the 3- bite method- only go for the things you really want to try. Can this rule be taken to the extreme? Absolutely, but it’s important to use your best judgment and enjoy those 3 bites and move on.
- Don’t “save” calories- many patients think they are being sneaky with this strategy. They anticipate a big meal so they “save up” for the night ahead. You skimp on your meals and sometimes even fast for the whole day. This generally leads to becoming ravenous and losing control. It is so important to get your balance of foods in each day and ESPECIALLY on days when there will be food temptations. Do yourself a favor and ensure you are getting adequate nutrients throughout your day to keep blood sugars in check, and I guarantee you will have much better control at those holiday parties and dinners.
- Increase intake of fruits and veggies- eating a variety of different fruits and veggies will ensure you are getting adequate nutrients, which will promote normal body chemistry, not to mention the fiber you will get to help keep you feeling fuller longer!
- Tell someone your plan- whether it’s your spouse, friend, family member, or even your Dietitian. Research has shown that accountability works! If you have a bad meal, don’t let that turn into a bad day or a bad week, you have the option to start fresh for every meal and snack!