The holidays are just around the corner, meaning Christmas treats like cookies and champagne are everywhere. It can be the “sweetest” thing about the holiday season, but the sugar crash afterward is no fun for many people. It is just a matter of choosing to survive the holiday sugar crash.
We all know that eliminating sugar may be impossible, but who says we can’t manage sugar consumption? Of course, we can!
Limit the Sugar Intake
Limiting sugar intake to less than 10 percent of our total daily calories is just one of the ways to keep our sugar consumption at bay, regardless of how many calories a person needs. If you can’t avoid indulging in some sweet treats during the holiday season, you can try these steps to help you manage and survive the post-holiday sugar crashes.
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1. Make a Plan
List down all the special occasions you want to attend and decide which food you want to eat. Focus on foods rich in fiber, like those dark chocolate cookies that have always been part of your family’s old tradition. Consider making a list of your top five favorite holiday treats or set a treat budget for yourself each day.
2. Focus on High Fiber Holiday Treats
A fiber-rich diet may help reduce inflammation by lowering body weight. High-fiber foods also feed beneficial bacteria living in the gut, which then release substances that help lower the levels of inflammation throughout your body. Focus on high-fiber treats like your grandma’s dark chocolate cookie recipe, which have been part of your holiday treats for years. The darker the chocolate, the more cocoa solids you get— and the possible health benefits.
3. Make Use of Sugar Substitutes to Avoid Sugar Crash
Using sugar substitutes can be a great way to reduce sugar intake. Several available sugar substitutes can provide sweetness without the extra calories. While many people are familiar with artificial sweeteners such as Xylitol and Splenda, there are also natural options such as maple syrup and stevia. Each type of sugar substitute has its benefits and drawbacks, so it’s important to choose the one that is right for you. Remember that whatever sugar substitute you choose should be used in moderation.
4. Limit Alcohol Consumption
A few drinks with friends can be a great way to get in the holiday spirit and enjoy each other’s company, but there is also such a thing as going overboard. While alcohol may increase blood sugar, too much consumption can produce life-threatening low blood sugar. If you indulge in adult beverages, be more of a responsible drinker and drink moderately. Have a full glass of water for every glass of alcohol you drink. This will flush out all the toxins from your body and helps you avoid waking up with a terrible headache.
Avoid Worst Holiday Treats
The classic candy canes and holiday cookies have a whopping 20-60 grams of sugar per serving size. That doesn’t even include other sugar ingredients like milk, chocolate, or marshmallow crème. Check out for healthier alternatives and pick low-fat options when possible.
Understand How Sugar Affects the Brain and Appetite
It’s no secret that holiday sugar can be addictive. It provides a quick and easy energy boost, but the crash you experience after is hard to shake off. Sugar increases dopamine levels in the brain– this chemical makes you feel good, and it’s what we associate with reward behavior. Hence, sugar is one of those things that causes inflammation of the joints and slows recovery from injuries or pains. Joint pains can be a real burden, and not only is it uncomfortable, but they can also make it difficult to do everyday tasks.
It’s always nice to get together with family and friends during the holiday season–especially when they’re all willing to participate in your sugar crash prevention plans. Also, there’s nothing more fun than enjoying the holiday season without feeling sick and miserable after all the sweet and delectable treats you’ve indulged in.