Even if you’re among the most conscientious dieters, the holiday season is guaranteed to test your willpower. The combination of social gatherings, special sweets and gifts received from others is enough to make even the healthiest eater question his or her resolve, and while you probably can’t avoid temptation entirely (unless you decide to hibernate until January), there are several steps you can take to help keep yourself – and your calorie consumption – under control. Here’s how to avoid the dreaded holiday season sugar overdose, so that your New Year’s resolution doesn’t have to involve losing that extra weight you put on over the last two months.
Remember the “Everything in Moderation” Rule
Often, people who regularly practice dieting have a tendency to label some foods as acceptable and others as avoidable. Combine this with the fact that many people feel particularly emotional during the holiday season, and you have a recipe for unhealthy eating. Rather than eliminate sugary foods in their entirety, give yourself the chance to indulge just a little. Yes, that chocolate cake may look appealing, but you don’t need a piece that’s bigger than your face. Choose a smaller portion or steal a bite or two off your date’s plate so that you don’t feel like you’re missing out and make bad choices later to compensate.
Avoid “Eating Your Feelings”
Because many people experience feelings of stress or isolation during the holiday season, it is prime time for many to over-indulge in sugary sweets. Rather than turn to the fridge to calm your emotions, however, try a different outlet. Eating a lot of junk food can also cause you to feel poorly, which can increase your stress levels even more. So instead of reaching for the pumpkin pie, try going for a run, participating in volunteer work, or visiting a place that lifts your spirits. Be sure to carve out a little time for yourself to relax and soak up the warmth of the season, and you’ll likely eat less sugar simply by becoming more mindful of your feelings and actions.
By becoming more conscious about what you put in your mouth, you can make it through the holidays without excessive sugar and calorie consumption.