Perfecting your diet throughout the year is a great way to stay in shape, but it can easily be squashed by the tempting, delectable treats and mouth-water feasts that come with the holidays. Almost every occasion finds a way to sneak some not-so-diet-friendly foods in your direction, and let’s face it – you want to indulge. Don’t let the ooey-gooey cookies your grandmother made for Christmas tempt you. Resist the sweets and fatty foods this holiday season. Just because the treats are within reach doesn’t mean you have to eat them.
Here are a few tips for controlling those crazy holiday food cravings.
1. Take control
If you’re in a situation where a coworker brings a platter of holiday cookies – the kind that they claim they spent all night baking – to a meeting, simply eat half or split one with someone. That way, you can satisfy your craving without over indulging and you can make your baking friend happy. Don’t let your cravings get the best of you; it’s all about mind over matter.
2. Keep it out of your house
Mind Body Green suggested keeping the treats out of your house, office, desk or any other place you store tempting sweets. By having a stash of treats in a familiar place, you are enabling yourself to have a snack attack. Replace the unhealthy foods with a healthier sweet alternative such as almond butter. When you feel a craving coming on, have a spoonful – or two.
3. Drink less coffee
Dietitian Ashley Koff, RD, told Fitness magazine that too much caffeine can often lead to a craving for sugar because of the pick-me-up you’ll need afterward. Instead of drinking a whole pot of coffee, consider drinking no more than two cups a day or choose an alternative energy source, like almonds and snacks that are rich in protein. Doing this can help you resist the holiday treat spread that stares at you in the break room.
4. Schedule your meals
According to Mind Body Green, timing your meals is crucial when it comes to curbing your appetite and reducing those sweet cravings. The source suggested drinking a protein shake for breakfast to set your metabolic tone for the day. Then, schedule small meals for ever four hours and make sure you stop eating about three hours before you go to sleep. If you schedule your meals, you won’t have any time to squeeze in that surprise cupcake that was left on your desk by a coworker.
5. Workout instead
If you ever find yourself relaxing on the couch after a long day of work and you can’t stop thinking about the ice cream in the freezer, head to the gym! Not only will working out help you get in shape, but a great fitness plan can take your mind off of that sweet sundae craving.
“A good night’s sleep can help curb your sweet cravings.”
6. Get a good night’s sleep
According to a study done by the Department of Social and Preventive Medicine at Laval University, an insufficient amount of sleep can cause an imbalance of leptin, the satiety hormone, and raise gherlin, the hunger hormone. Don’t wake up at the crack of dawn Christmas day. The presents will still be under the tree after you’ve gotten a good night’s sleep.
7. Treat yourself
If you eat a salad every day, you’ll more than likely want to stuff your face with pizza every once in a while. It’s always important to treat yourself – just take control of portion sizes. When you arrive to grandma’s house on Christmas day, don’t think you have to avoid the heavenly ham or savory prime rib. You can still eat all of the tasty foods your family spent their precious time making!