Nothing says the holidays like Christmas cookies, eggnog, and loads of other unhealthy sugary holiday treats! By the time the season’s over, most people have far exceeded the recommended sugar intake and they’re feeling the effects: sluggish, irritable, depressed, and weighed down, among other not-so-great symptoms.
So how do you avoid sugar overload during the holidays without giving up all the sweet delights of the season? Make a plan!
- Be Selective
Swearing off sugar completely around the holidays is a tall order. Learn to be selective with the food you consume. Strike a balance between eating healthy the majority of the time while still allowing yourself the enjoyment of an occasional indulgence. Save your splurges for your absolute favorites, especially sweets that you usually only get to eat during the holidays.
- Fill Up on Healthy Foods
Over the holidays, make sure to consume lots of whole foods like vegetables, fruits, nuts, whole grains, and lean sources of protein. Not only are these foods good for you, but you’ll feel full longer, making it less likely you’ll cave into sugar cravings. If you’re headed out to a holiday party, make sure to eat a healthy meal before you go. Having a full belly will help you resist the abundance of sugary desserts often found on the buffet table.
- Set Some “No Sugar Days”
Take a look at your calendar and reserve the day after holiday parties and events for a 100% no-sugar day. After indulging in a bit of sugar it’s important to reset. Refocus your mind and your taste buds on healthier, sugar-free foods to help get your routine and healthy lifestyle back on track.
- Skip the Liquid Sugar
Beverages can be loaded with sugar and empty calories. Unless eggnog, hot chocolate, and sparkling cider are your favorite part of the holidays, skipping added sugars in liquid form is a good idea to help keep your sugar intake in check. It can be easy to overdo it with sugary beverages, especially if you’re thirsty. Instead, save your sugar for that holiday treat you really want.
- Recruit a Buddy
It’s easier to stay on track when you have someone who’s on the same page and can hold you accountable. Recruit a friend who will commit to a mostly sugar-free holiday with you. Support one another in your healthy lifestyle choices, which will make sticking to your goals easier and more fun.
There’s so much more to the holidays than sugar! Keep your focus on all the other magical traditions and events the season has to offer. And if you’re craving a sweet treat, go ahead and partake. You can swap stevia for sugar in a variety of holiday recipes for a sugar-free, low-calorie, low-carb treat that tastes just as great as its sugary counterpart.
Browse our selection of sugar-free recipes.