Chances are, you’re starting to get bombarded with sweets and treats this time of year. From holiday cookie swaps, office parties and home-baked gifts, it can seem like there’s no way to escape the sugar rush!
I’m not going to tell you to never indulge in your favorite holiday treat, because let’s be honest, that probably isn’t very realistic. Instead, I’m going to share with you a few tips on how to control your sweet tooth so that it doesn’t end up controlling you.
Start with a nutritious breakfast. The best way to start the day is with a filling and nutritious breakfast that will stabilize your blood sugar levels and keep you satisfied. Balancing your plate with a variety of nutrients (think healthy fats, whole grains, lean protein, fruits and vegetables) and eating enough of them is key to keeping sweet cravings in check.
Healthy breakfast options include: oatmeal with a spoonful of almond butter and piece of fruit, scrambled egg whites with veggies and avocado toast or a filling smoothie (low on sugar and filled with protein and healthy fats!).
Eat empowered. The way we think about food can have a huge impact on the control it has on us. Have you ever noticed that when you tell yourself you can’t have something you want it even more? Instead of coming from a place of “I can’t have X”, rewrite the message to “I can”.
For example, instead of “I can’t have those cookies”, tell yourself “I can have these blueberries because I know it will make my body feel good and if I still want a cookie, I will have one.” Key message: one cookie, not ten.
Practice simple swaps. When it comes to baking, there are some simple healthy swaps that don’t compromise flavor. Try using whole wheat flour instead of white, applesauce in place of eggs or butter, coconut sugar for brown sugar and get friendly with coconut oil! Here’s a fantastic list of ways to give your favorite foods a healthy makeover.
Have a backup. This tip is a good one across the board when it comes to healthy eating, but is especially helpful this holiday season. Do you have a break room at work that’s filled with sugary treats? Come prepared with your own healthy snack so that when the hunger strike hits, you aren’t left trying to decide which muffin or cookie will do the least amount of damage. If you know your cravings tend to flare at specific times throughout the day, opt for a warming cup of herbal tea instead!
Limit the starchy carbs. Pasta lovers, beware! When you eat a starchy meal with minimal fiber or protein, you likely aren’t going to be full or satisfied. The calories are absorbed quickly in the body, much like sugar is.
Choosing healthier starches like whole grains and vegetables that are full of fiber, along with a serving of lean protein will increase satiety and make that slice of pie look a whole lot less appealing.
Get right back on track. So you overindulged on sweets and now you can’t stop thinking about them. The best way to put an end to the sugar game is to get right back on track with healthy eating. Filling your body with nutritious foods will help you crave these better-for-you foods even more. While it’s okay to have a treat here and there, the holidays are not a vacation for your taste buds, too!