Let’s talk about sugar. It’s the holiday season, and we will all be faced with lots of parties, cookie exchanges, candy, and other delicious temptations. It’s far too easy to overindulge and suddenly find that our clothes are a little tighter after the season is over. As a nutritional therapist, I encourage my clients to cut out as much sugar as possible from their daily eating habits, but I know that it’s very difficult to do that when we’re surrounded by sweet treats at every turn. Here are a few tips for limiting the damage during this season of celebration:
-Eat a snack that includes protein and fat before heading out to a party. Protein and fat will not only take the edge off your hunger so that you’re not ravenous when you get to the party and descend on the buffet like a wild animal, but the fat also slows down the absorption of sugar into your bloodstream.
-Have some veggies. If that buffet has any kind of vegetable dish, be sure to take some. Veggies come with lots of great fiber, and that will help fill you up before you start in on the desserts.
-Go easy on the booze. Alcohol does two things that could cause problems. First, it acts a lot like sugar in your body, and when it’s mixed with sugary sodas or juices it actually IS sugar. Second, it loosens your inhibitions and makes it more likely that you’ll over indulge. A good way to keep control is to choose wine over mixed drinks, and alternate wine with water.
-If you do decide to enjoy something sweet, make sure it’s worth it! If your Christmas dinner includes a decadent dessert made special for the occasion, have some. Just keep it to a few bites or a very small sliver.
-Above all, enjoy your food! Many of us have a tendency to attach guilt to our eating habits, and guilt is a very destructive emotion. Choose what you eat consciously, enjoy it, and then let it go. Make healthy choices going forward, and always be kind to yourself no matter what you eat.
After the holidays are over and the stress has lifted, consider doing a sugar detox for a few weeks. I
have several sessions of the RESTART Class coming up in January and February. It’s a five week class that has a three week sugar detox built in. A cookbook is included, and the education that former students have gotten has been invaluable. It’s very informative, and lots of fun too!
Hope to see you there!