The holiday season is in full swing, and can be a stressful time for many-especially those trying to maintain a sugar free diet. Learning how to quit sugar addiction is hard enough, but with the holiday feasts, parties and goodies thrown in, it is even more difficult. Here are some our favorite strategies for sticking to your sugar free diet during this busy time of year.
Stick to Your Exercise Routine
Not only will exercise help you stave off your sugar cravings, it will also help you handle the stress of the season and maintain a bit of normalcy during the craziest time of year. After a good workout, many people find it easier to make healthier food choices, and experience the natural mood boosting effects of endorphins.
Start a New Tradition-That Doesn’t Revolve Around Food
Even in the season that revolves around sugar, candy, cookies and other treats, there are plenty of things to be done that have nothing to do with eating. Grab a group and go for a sleigh ride, have a snowball fight or snowman building competition. Create homemade ornaments and deliver them to the elderly in your neighborhood, or even go caroling at a local nursing home or children’s hospital. The opportunities are endless and will fill you with Christmas cheer without filling out your waistline.
Forgive Yourself for Slip-ups
Nobody is perfect, and forgiveness is important when slip-ups happen. Instead of sabotaging your no sugar diet completely, if you do eat a cookie or piece of gingerbread, forgive yourself and move on. Don’t let yourself binge by justifying that you already messed up and can now give into other treats. Start over with fresh resolve to be completely sugar free.
Don’t Give In To Food Pushers
Inevitably at every family meal there will be at least one relative who tries to get you to binge on their homemade goodies. The trick is to understand what the food pusher really wants. Most often then food itself is just a proxy, and the family member really needs to be reassured that you like and appreciate them. While their behavior often leads to a guilt trip about not eating their special goodies made just for you, they really just need emotional reassurance that you care. Spending quality time with this person during your visit or simply telling them how much you love them may be enough to head off the battle before it begins.
If that is not enough to make Aunt Bertha stop shoving her famous gingerbread under your nose, here are a few ways to ward her off:
- Let “No, thank you” be enough. Don’t try defending your reasoning for living sugar free or how you quit your sugar addiction
- If no, thank you is not enough, follow it with a personal question about that person’s life. For example, “No, thanks, but I heard you are going to Disney World soon?” or any other open ended question that takes the spotlight off you
- Tell the food pusher you are so full, but would love some for leftovers to take home. When you get home, toss the dish in the trash to stick to your guns about being sugar free without all the guilt
By following these tricks, you can stick to your sugar free diet without hurting other’s feelings, and come January 1, you will be far ahead of all those who choose to indulge during the holidays.