How to Fight Sugar Cravings This Holiday SeasonPosted: October 17, 2014
First it’s Halloween. Bowls of candy begin to cloak your office’s kitchen counters like a captivating costume. As you’re working through a tough project or a mundane weekly task, your mind is thinking candy, and perhaps your hands start to follow.
Then comes November. Aunt Jane, Cousin Joey, coworker Christy – they’re all making pie. There’s apple and pumpkin, soon to be followed by December’s 12+ days of cookies. Pretty soon, you feel your pants are fitting a bit snugger, and you’re energy is flying up and down like a reindeer sleigh running out of steam.
As sugar season (aka, the holidays) nears full swing, temptations are bound to show up frequently, which is why we’re bringing you a game plan to keep your health on track. Remember, a healthier you = a better feeling you = a happier you. Avoid reaching for the candy bowl, and you’ll keep your energy levels from crashing and all those empty calories from packing on the pounds.
We’ve got 5 sweet, sugar-free escapes in the printout* above, so whenever the sugar fairy tries to cast its spell, you can turn away towards an even better alternative. Print it out and hang it by your desk or kitchen.
When temptation arises, turn to this guide and choose the option that feels most appealing to you. Go in with the mindset of each being a pleasant experience (or “sweet escape”, as we at LifeVest like to call it). This will set yourself up to enjoy each choice, and also make it so you won’t feel deprived.
Moderation is key, so do allow yourself a treat every now and then. However, aim to limit it to once per week throughout the holidays, so you can remain a healthy you!
*Hint print icon, and then choose “landscape orientation” on your printer.
Need a refresher as to why you’re sugar’s not so sweet? Here are a few facts to keep in mind:
- Whether you’re overweight or not, excess sugar significantly ups your risk of heart disease.
- It’s also directly linked to type 2 diabetes, an epidemic now affecting nearly one out of every 10 Americans. Diabetes can cause problems to many major organs, including your heart, blood vessels, nerves and eyes. If you’ve been diagnosed, controlling your blood sugar levels is essential to help prevent complications, which means saying goodbye to candy.
- Sugar is an empty calorie, simple carb, meaning it contains little nutritional value of benefit to your body. When you consume simple carbohydrates, like candy and soda, your pancreas creates a hormone called insulin that processes the food into blood sugar and moves it to your body’s cells for energy use. When eaten in excess, your pancreas must produce a large amount of insulin, which prompts your body to start storing fat. In short, excess sugar will generally lead to weight gain. Additionally, the insulin spike it creates causes your blood sugar levels to drop, which will leave you feeling tired and hungry again, just shortly after eating.