Top Ways to Manage Sugar Cravings This Holiday Season

by Dr. Melissa Carr, Dr. TCM

Dec 20, 2019

‘Tis the season to be jolly, and to indulge. I love this time of year—the lights, the decorations, the celebrations, and especially all those tasty treats. The holiday season is here, and with it comes sugary cravings that can be a struggle for many people (myself included).

If you have a sweet tooth, it’s important to understand how to manage your sugar cravings and avoid the temptation to binge. Here are my top ways to cut back on all those sweet treats this holiday season.

Don’t skip meals. Saving up for that holiday feast? Holding off on breakfast or lunch might sound like a good idea to make room for a big dinner, but it is doomed to fail. Fasting now so you can overdo it later will only cause you to wolf down everything in sight, leaving you feeling bloated, stuffed, and guilty of looking like a human vacuum.

Though intermittent fasting is now a popular dietary trend, doing it simply so you can binge at a party or holiday gathering isn’t the point. Keep your blood sugar levels in check by choosing a balanced eating regime—consuming meals that are rich in fibre, healthy fats, and good quality protein—great options that will help stabilize blood sugar.

Drink more water. Your body speaks to you, but sometimes the language it uses can be confusing. When your body needs hydration, it can sometimes manifest itself as sugar cravings.

So, the next time you get the urge to sugar splurge, grab a glass of water. Drinking plenty of water will not only help you beat those cravings, but also makes you feel full, so you don’t overindulge at mealtime.

Make a sugar budget. Sugar is everywhere this time of year. Gifted cookies and chocolates, parties with indulgent snacks and desserts, and candy canes that don’t quite make it to be hung on the tree—staving off sweets can be tough. But even a little indulging can cause insulin levels to spike and drop, wreaking havoc on energy levels.

Keep a close eye on nutrition labels and try to limit yourself to 25 grams of sugar per day. By staying on top of your sugar intake, you will be able to budget in some decadent dessert this holiday without wasting it on a soft drink.

Avoid sweets. Absence may make the heart grow fonder; it also makes for a healthier one.

I get it. It’s tough to say “no” to that piece of chocolate (okay, let’s be honest: the whole box of chocolates) calling your name. And since eating foods with a high glycemic index can trigger even more cravings and hunger, causing you to stuff your face with sweets, you might find it easier to re-gift those packaged goodies or put them out for all to share.

If you can’t follow the “I’ll just have one” rule, it’s best to limit your time with the sugary temptations.

Take Japanese red reishi. Mikei Red Reishi Fruiting BodyDon’t let this mild-mannered mushroom fool you. Japanese red reishi is a super herb that can help you manage your sugar craving during the holidays and beyond. This fabulously festive fungus helps people feel calm energy, manage stress, and stabilize blood sugar.

If you are done with those holiday highs and lows. Japanese red reishi will help you control your sugar intake and feel great doing it too! Cherish your loved ones and yourself this year with a gift that keeps on giving—better health.

Wishing the happiest and healthiest holidays to you and yours!

Dr. Melissa Carr is a registered Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine with a B.Sc. in Kinesiology. In practice since 2001, Dr. Carr has a passion for sharing health information. She has been a nutrition instructor and a health consultant, lecturer, and writer for 24 Hours Vancouver newspaper, Fraser Health Authority, UBC, and the David Suzuki Foundation, amongst others. www.activetcm.com

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