Five Tips for Holiday Sugar Cravings
Alright, let’s get real. Completely avoiding sugar during the holidays is nearly impossible unless you decide to never leave your house. It’s everywhere starting pre Halloween to News Year’s, or longer. It’s going to look good, and it’ll most likely taste pretty good too. So what do we do? Let’s talk it out.
First of all, knowing your emotional connection to food is priority #1. Be sure you’ve listened to Dr. Mcayla’s lessons because she offers strategies for “all or nothing types” and for those who can have a bite or two and be satisfied.
1. Set realistic goals
- Often times, people enter the holiday season with unrealistic expectations that they won’t consume ANY treats, then, when they have even the slightest bite, they feel guilty. The guilt can then lead to a sugar binge. Avoid putting so much pressure on yourself. It’s perfectly healthy to allow yourself treats-it’s life. Recognize it’s a treat, be grateful you’re educated on sugar and science, and then get back to your normal routine.
- Categorizing “treats” as completely off limits makes you want them more. That’s a fast way to increase cravings-saying you can never have treats. Give yourself permission to consume some dessert over the holiday season. Check below for additional help.
2. Make healthy swaps
- Consuming a lot of processed sugar will send a reward to your brain and you’ll most likely want more. It’s a true chemical reaction in the brain (called dopamine reward). By opting for a treat that’s lower in sugar and high in healthy fats, you get a satisfying treat that doesn’t trigger your brain to want 3-4 servings.
- The One3One recipes are fantastic swaps to get that sweet treat but not get a huge hit of sugar. These recipes keep your blood sugar stable, your social life normal and your taste buds happy.
3. Ensure your meals contain healthy fats, carbs and proteins
- Aim to fill your plate with nourishing foods that provide macro and micronutrients. This combination helps keep blood sugar balanced which reduces cravings.
4. Brush your teeth or pop a mint
- If you had a meal or a dessert and you’re satisfied, grab a mint or brush your teeth to reduce grazing on sweets for which you’re not actually hungry. Sometimes cravings appear because food is available or visible, or because the satisfaction of bouncing from salty to sweet becomes insatiable. Clean up your tastebuds with something minty and watch your munchies vanish!
5. Get your sleep
- Sleep deprivation increases our desire for sugar and salty foods. The holidays are a busy time of year, but by prioritizing sleep, you’ll reduce sugar cravings the night before food is even on the table.