The holidays, there are so many reasons to live this time of year, but with all the baking and cooking that comes along with it, mixed with no time to exercise, staying fit and eating well is not easy. I am excited to share a post written by integrative nutrition health coach Sara Giboney on ways to manage sugar cravings and make healthy choices during this time. I know I will be keeping some of these in mind over the next week!
By Sara Giboney
Frosted sugar cookies, homemade fudge, gingerbread cookies, peanut butter blossom cookies, shortbread, pecan pie. The holiday season can be a challenging time to make healthy choices.
While I totally believe in enjoying your favorite foods during the holidays, going overboard on sweet treats can cause you to gain weight, experience bloating and increase your sugar cravings.
I hear a lot of people say, “The holidays only come once a year, so I’ll eat whatever I want and get back on track January 1.”
The problem with that attitude is that “the holidays” are basically two months long. So if you’re overeating and eating high sugar foods for two entire months, you’re making an impact on your health and waistline.
When we eat high sugar, high-fat foods consistently, we don’t crave healthy foods. First, eating foods with lots of sugar on a regular basis makes whole foods taste less sweet. For example, if you eat a cookie then eat an apple, the apple doesn’t taste as good. Second, sugar is addictive. Sticking to your healthy New Year resolutions will be a lot harder than you think after months of cookie consumption.
So how do you find that balance between staying healthy AND enjoying your favorite holiday treats?
I have a few super simple tips that will keep you feeling healthy and energized this holiday season.
- Only eat what you absolutely love. Don’t waste calories, fat, sugar or your time eating things that are just OK. We tend to eat things because they’re there. Think about the holiday treats that bring back childhood memories or put you in the holiday spirit. Enjoy those treats and forget the rest.
- Get rid of the all or nothing attitude. If you overdo it one day, get right back to healthy eating the next day. When you decide that you can only begin eating healthy on a Monday or the first day of the month or the first day of the year, you’ll never lose weight or get healthy. Living a healthy life isn’t about perfection, it’s about consistency.
- Don’t be so hard on yourself. When we label foods as “good” or “bad,” we can get down on ourselves for eating those perceived “bad” foods. When you feel guilty about eating something and beat yourself up about it, it can cause you to continue overeating. Negative thoughts won’t cause you to make positive changes. Try looking at food as neutral, neither good nor bad. When you notice yourself feeling bad about eating something, use a positive mantra like, “I am enough as I am.”
- Take time for yourself. Stress often makes us eat more during the holidays. Take time to move your body, do yoga, meditate, read a book, have time alone, do something fun, get a massage, get acupuncture, and say no to things that won’t serve you in a positive way.
- Find that balance. Enjoy a slice of pie and your favorite holiday foods on the holiday itself or at a special event during the holidays. But every other day during the holiday season, fill your plate with greens, lean proteins, complex carbs and healthy fats. This will help keep your cravings under control throughout the holidays.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could the holiday season without stressing about your body and what you’re eating? It’s totally possible! Follow these tips and you’ll be able to begin the New Year feeling fabulous.
If you liked this post check out Working out With Your Baby: Tips to Keep Fit
Sara Giboney is an integrative nutrition health coach, yoga teacher, group fitness instructor and blogger at Sweet Success. As a health coach, Sara guides her clients to find the food and lifestyle choices that best support them. She helps her clients make gradual, lifelong changes to help them reach their health goals.
Get Sara’s guide to mindful eating at bit.ly/stopobsessing.