It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Well, almost. The holidays are fast approaching, and we all know what that means: sugar on sugar on sugar. I don’t know about you, but while that definitely makes my taste buds dance for joy, my pants are getting tighter just thinking about it.
Get this: the American Heart Association recommends about 6 teaspoons of sugar per day for women, and 9 for men, yet the average adult consumes around 22 teaspoons per day. That’s not a typo, I did say 22! And I’m going to go out on a very short limb and say I bet that number greatly increases during the holiday season. (I know I’m not the only one who feels like I can’t go anywhere between Thanksgiving and New Years without tripping over a piece of pumpkin pie or a candy cane…then picking it up and eating it).
There’s a bright side though: since we know the sweet treat train is coming, we can be prepared!
How to Curb Your Sweet Tooth:
Eat Often to Avoid Over Eating. While most of us grew up eating 3 square meals a day, it’s actually recommended that we eat 6 small meals per day. This helps keeps our blood sugar levels steady so as to avoid a binge. Try eating this way on the day of holiday parties, and you’re less likely to show up hungry and mull the desert table.
Workout Before Events. Try to get your workouts in before heading to a holiday party or work potluck. Working out helps reduce sugar cravings, and you’ll probably think twice before stuffing that second piece of pie that will negate all of the hard work you put in at the gym.
Pick Your Favorites. Although your taste buds might not agree, you don’t have to try everything on the dessert table. Pick the treat you want most and enjoy the heck out of one serving- no guilt!
Out of Sight, Out of Mind. Let’s face it- willpower against sweets is hard. It’s much easier to resist something when you forget about it, or it’s not there. So put the candy bowl away, and if someone sends you home from a party with a plate of chocolate Santas, keep one, and take the rest to work to share.
Fight or Flight. When a bad craving hits, distract thine self! Drink some water, take a lap, basically do anything to shift your focus onto something new, and more than likely the craving will pass.
Quick tips: Fill up on veggies before hitting the desert table, and wear tighter fitting clothing to keep you conscious of becoming too full.
Remember: The more you eat sugar, the more you crave sugar; and although one cookie a day may not seem like much, it adds up!
With all of that being said, we are still human, and sugar still tastes darn good. So if at some point you find yourself passed out on your couch because you’re so full you can barely move or think, and you’re wondering what in the world just happened and why there are crumbs all over your shirt, stay calm. It’s likely you’re just in a cookie-induced coma. But don’t fret! It’s not fatal. You’ll come out of it with lots of water, fresh fruits and veggies, and a good, sweaty workout. Just don’t let it happen again.
Although there’s an abundance of easily accessible sugar around during the holidays, we tend to crave sugar even during the less festive of the cold winter months. So start employing these tips now, and hopefully you’ll make it out of both the holidays and winter feeling just as healthy, confident, and fit as you came in.
Nicole Walker is a lifestyle and social media content writer at Health Beauty Life in San Diego County. She’s spent time working in independent health food stores, can be found in the aisles of Whole Foods reading labels, and since she enjoys eating as much as she enjoys being holistically healthy, she’s well educated on how to balance the two. Visit HealthBeautyLife.com to read more.