Simple Tricks for Avoiding Treats this Holiday Season

This article was originally published on FitAfterFifty.com

Did you know that sugar is the new fat? Yup. It is. And with the holidays right around the corner, I’m going to show you a plan that will help you avoid being tempted. 

First, understand why sugar is the new fat. Check out these 10 reasons why sugar is bad for your body and brain. I highly suggest that you print this list and post it where you’ll see it often. Read it every day as motivation to stay strong. 

But let’s go a few steps further. Once you understand why sugar is not good for you, plan ahead for how you’re going to get through the holidays without falling into sugar temptation. You not only want to “get through” the holidays but you want to enjoy them. You’ll have a hard time enjoying the holidays if you’re wracked by guilt because you ate loads of sugar treats.

Did you know that sugar consumed during the holidays actually stays in our cell proteins for four months? Yes, four months! That’s a long time. Remember that little piece of information when you’re tempted to cave and eat just one little cookie here or one little piece of pie there. So here’s my advice – stay ahead of temptation and plan ahead. Instead of simply sailing into the holiday season and being surrounded by tempting sweets everywhere you turn, create a plan ahead of time that will help you avoid these pitfalls. After all, you don’t want to blow all of the hard work you’ve been doing getting in shape and making healthy food choices the rest of the year. So don’t let sugar temptations take you down!

Here’s your plan:

  • Drink plenty of water: Keeping yourself hydrated will help you battle cravings. Carry your water bottle with you and add a little fresh lime or lemon for a refreshing boost of flavor.
  • Eat ahead: If you are going to a party and there is sure to be an overload of treats, have a balanced meal before you go. Your insulin levels will be balanced when you arrive and hunger cravings will not so easily tempt you. 
  • Be rested and manage your stress: When you are stressed and tired, you are more likely to give into temptation and use sweets for comfort food.  Once you do that, as you know, the “comfort” is short lived and you pay the price. To help with stress and sleep, check out meditation classes in your area. Any kind of meditation is good for you – just find a class that fits your schedule and then do the work. A really great intro class is a series called Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, or MBSR. Check out their website and then look for classes in your area: http://www.mindfullivingprograms.com/whatMBSR.php.  Another way to meditate is Transcendental Meditation or TM. There are likely classes in your area: https://www.tm.org
  • Consume good quality proteins and fats: They contain anti-inflammatory properties and help to counterbalance extra sugar intake.
  • Don’t deprive yourself completely: Feeling deprived often leads to binges or even just a bad mood. So plan ahead and know when and how you will reward yourself with just a bit of your favorite treat. But here’s the big key – make sure you set yourself up to win and not fail. How? Find teeny treats and freeze the rest. For example, don’t buy a whole pie and think you can just have one piece – it’s way too tempting to have just one more piece and one more and pretty soon the whole pie is gone. Instead, enjoy chocolate-dipped strawberries or bananas, hot chocolate made with skim or soy milk, or flavored greek yogurt. For more ideas, click here.
  • Team up: Get a friend who is also trying to cut back on sugar and have a plan to text message each other daily with encouraging words. The buddy system really does work and you can find fun ways to reward one another for your successes.

Enjoy!

Featured photo source: Pixabay.com

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