The holidays are meant to be fun, and part of that fun includes eating some of our favorites foods. Each member of my family is always cooking something that tastes great!
Did you know that in the US, half of all annual weight gain happens during the Christmas holidays? Not surprising really, since holidays are often associated with socializing over food and in front of the TV.
With all those chocolates, mince pies and cakes lying around in abundance, your sugar levels are likely to spike if you don’t employ some self-discipline.
First of all, be realistic. Trying to lose weight over Christmas is a somewhat illusionary idea. But you can aim to maintain your current weight, so that January doesn’t push you into crazy dieting. Here are some tips I’ve found helpful for reducing sugar intake:
- Maintain your blood sugar levels by not skipping breakfast.
Eating at regular intervals and including enough protein in your meals and snacks will help you maintain stable blood sugar levels. Stick to foods such as hummus, nuts, rolled oats and fresh fruits.If your sugar levels are stable, you’re less likely to crave sugars.
People often reach for sugary snacks just because they are hungry and that chocolate chip cookie is at hand.
- Get enough sleep.
Your body requires recuperative sleep. This might be easier said than done with all the partying going on, but if you are sleep deprived, you’ll crave more food the next day and your sugar intake will increase.
My family is always talking or hanging out while eating food so try to bid the party farewell just an hour early, or allow yourself a sleep-in the following day.
- Sweeten it with honey.
If you do crave sweetness, why not substitute white table sugar for a natural sweetener?
Honey is associated with weight loss, has a lower glycemic index than table sugar, is great for your immune system, and aids digestion.You can use it to sweeten your tea, coffee, desserts and drinks.
Or have a spoon of it instead of going for the chocolate pie. Just make sure you use raw honey, as filtered honey is devoid of all the healthy substances.
Remember, holidays can be fun, even when you’re watching the foods you’re eating. Just don’t put all the focus on the food. Enjoy the company and other festivities instead.