The holidays are a great time for relaxing with family & friends and attending parties, tree decorating, and annual outings.

All of these activities typically include lots of food and drink that we don’t normally consume, which can wreak havoc on our body! 

How to Reduce Sugar

Sugar is the number one offender! But staying away from sweets at this time of year isn’t easy. We usually consume more sugar than normal, which means our bodies become more acidic than usual.

Did you know that studies show sugar is actually more addictive than cocaine? That means the more we eat, the more we want.

I could make simple recommendations like, “just say no” or “track your weight,” but I actually don’t believe in that type of guidance at the holidays or in everyday life.

When I was addicted to sugar, walking away from cookies and cake was near impossible! Over the years, I’ve found that to reduce the sugar cravings and make the holidays easier to navigate, there’s one thing we can all do: Bulk up on the healthier options at the beginning of the day so the body doesn’t crave the “bad” stuff nearly as much.

This strategy is called “crowding out.” It’s a term I learned when I trained for my health coaching certification. It means that instead of focusing on what you “can’t have,” focus on adding more nutritious foods—which will naturally “crowd out” the non-nutritious options.

Tweetable Waive off cravings for non-nutritious options by bulking up on healthy options early in the day. @staceycrew #healthyholidays

Planning Ahead

Whichever type of party or holiday activity you attend, be sure to plan ahead in terms of what you eat, especially on the day of the party.

Begin by cutting back or eliminating the carbonated drinks and drink more water .

Tweetable Pre-game for holiday parties by eating healthy and drinking lots of water to stay hydrated. @staceycrew #healthyholidays

Pre-gaming with healthier options allows you to indulge guilt-free once you’re at the party.  Pre-gaming will also help you avoid the holiday food hangover and actually reduce temptations to overindulge.

Alcohol contains a lot of sugar. So drinking a cocktail is often-times the equivalent to eating a donut. Have one cocktail, glass of wine, or beer followed by a water to rehydrate.

Party Day Strategy

Here are your three strategies for allowing yourself to enjoy the holiday season:

  1. Pre-game with healthy options — On party day, skip the breakfast donuts, eat something hearty like a hard-boiled egg and some oatmeal instead. For lunch, eat a clean salad (add some meat or beans for protein) with an olive oil-based dressing (bottled ones contain a lot of sugar – read the label) and some healthy snacks in between. Go-to healthy snacks include an apple, carrots and hummus, and strawberries. If you’ll be heading to a party directly after work or in the early evening, consider stopping for a juice or a made-from-scratch-smoothie.
  2. Cut-back on carbonated drinks especially diet ones (yes!), are loaded with chemicals that create inflammation in the body and wreak havoc on our digestive tract. One 12-ounce can of diet coke contains 39 grams of sugar. The daily recommended maximum of added sugars per day for women is 25 grams and for men it’s 37.5 grams. So, one 12-ounce can (and most people are drinking 16-oz or 32-oz drinks) of diet coke and you’re already blown your daily sugar intake. Carbonated drinks are one of the main reasons people have trouble losing weight and can’t get rid of the spare tire.
  3. Increase your water intake Again, this is a go-to health booster. Most people are walking around dehydrated and don’t even know it. Better yet, start a warm lemon water routine each morning to lubricate your body’s internal systems. You’ll be amazed at the results by incorporating this one change into your morning routine.

So, choose one of the above and you’ll be way ahead of the game. Now go and enjoy the holiday season!

To get a jumpstart on the New Year, download my FREE 3-Day Jumpstart to eliminate sugar, gain more energy, and eat clean.

 

Stacey Crew is “The Kitchen Health Coach” based in Charleston, South Carolina. She is a Certified Wellness Coach & published Author, and owner of Stacey Crew Wellness. She helps individuals achieve their health goals through a 4-prong approach of understanding the individual’s wellness needs, educating on specific topics, empowering the individual to make informed decisions, and providing accountability—all in a supportive environment. Stacey is an Amazon best-selling author of The Organized Mom: Simplify Life for You & Baby One Step at a Time and author of the soon-to-be-released Nourish You! Transform You & Your Kitchen for Healthier Eating.

Connect with Stacey @staceycrew on Facebook and Twitter and @staceycrewwellness on Instagram.