5 Ways to Curb Cravings Over the Holidays
‘Tis the season of overeating. The holidays are here, and so are the pies, brownies, cakes, and cheese plates galore. From leftover Halloween candy in the office to cookie platters at parties, it’s no wonder the average American gains a few pounds over the holiday months.
It is difficult to put a number on the average weight gain over the holidays, although reports in the media suggest anywhere from one to ten pounds. What is more important than how much weight is gained, however, is how difficult it is to shed these extra pounds afterward. For many people, the weight ends up accumulating over the years and never comes off.
Healthy eating is a choice, and although it can be difficult to resist temptations, you are the only one who controls what food goes into your body. There’s no need to feel guilty or overwhelmed—but if you would like to focus on healthy eating this season, consider these practical steps from our health coaches.
Here are some tips for kicking unhealthy food cravings to the curb during work parties, family gatherings, and even just at home during the holidays.
1. Drink Water
When you find yourself hovering around the dessert table, try drinking a tall glass of water and waiting ten minutes before making a move on the cheesecake. The feeling of fullness in your stomach will help you reassess whether you are actually hungry or if you were just looking to satisfy a sweet tooth.
2. BYOG – Bring Your Own Goodies
There are countless recipes on the internet for healthy holiday treats that allow you to indulge guilt-free. Your family, friends, and coworkers will thank you as well!
3. Fuel Up First
Showing up to a party hungry is risky business. By filling up ahead of time on a healthy meal high in protein and fiber, you will feel less tempted to go overboard at the dessert table.
4. Go Easy on the Sugar
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggest limiting added sugars to less than ten percent of your total daily calorie intake. For most women, that is about 25 grams (six teaspoons) of sugar or less, and for men, that is about 36 grams (nine teaspoons) or less. To put this into perspective, one Starbucks chocolate chip cookie contains 27 grams of sugar. Yikes!
5. Set a Limit
When going to an event where you know you will be surrounded by sugar and fat-laden temptations, plan ahead by setting a limit for yourself – say, one to two helpings of dessert.