It’s beginning to look a lot like the holiday season! As we walk along the streets and browse inside crowded malls, we’re bombarded with tempting treats like flavored holiday beverages at coffee shops, and packaged treats and goodies. No matter what you celebrate this holiday season, the temptation to indulge is all around. But don’t despair. There is a way to enjoy some holiday treats while still maintaining a healthy diet during the holiday season. Below are some tips from our Toronto naturopath and holistic nutritionist.
First, it is important to establish healthy eating habits from the beginning. A diet that’s high in protein, healthy fats and fibre, and low in carbohydrates will help reduce cravings for sweet treats. What we’ve heard from patient feedback at our clinic is that when they increase the amount of healthy fat in their diet, their sugar cravings subside. So, if your body’s basic nutrient needs are satisfied you’ll feel less tempted by holiday treats.
The next important tip to avoid over indulging is to be selective about which treats we eat. It is the holiday season after all, so it wouldn’t be the same without some small indulgences, right? But you need to be choosy and strategic — if you know you are going to a holiday party with tempting treats, resist temptations throughout the day. This means avoiding things like specialty holiday beverages at your favorite coffee shop. For example, did you know that a Starbucks specialty coffee can contain 54 grams of sugar, and contains 440 calories, which is the equivalent to a small meal? If this specialty coffee is part of your holiday treat ritual then we recommend restricting yourself to 1 per week and asking if it can be made with less sugar.
Lastly, our naturopathic doctors recommend that you get a good night’s sleep to reduce cravings for treats. Sleep deprivation can lead to carbohydrate cravings and overeating. When we don’t get sufficient sleep, the two hormones that regulate hunger and fullness are thrown out of balance. When we’re overtired, our bodies need fuel to keep going. The hormone that regulates our hunger is then over-stimulated, and the hormone that tells us to stop eating is reduced. This is why we are more likely to overeat when we are tired. You’ll be amazed how a good night’s sleep can really help you to decrease sugar cravings during the holiday season.
Have a happy and healthy holiday season.