The holiday season is upon us or, as I like to call it, Sweets Season. With Halloween up first, there’s bound to be a lot of candy in your household which, let’s be honest here, you’ve been buying since August. After the mini candy bars and sour gummies are gone, it’s just a hop, jump and a skip to Thanksgiving pies and Christmas cookies.
I don’t know about you, but one of the perks of parenting is snacking on your kids’ haul when they’re not looking (shh, don’t tell). But if you do the crime, you have to do the time — to make your jeans fit again after all that sugar.
If you also find it hard to resist the saccharine siren call of the candy bowl this time of year, try these tactics:
Start your day with greens.
As you may know we’re big on intermittent fasting here. (We even developed a program with our doctor called, The Well Body Reset.) I do eat breakfast several days a week, but even if I fast until lunch time, I make sure my first meal is packed with greens. I keep it simple by scrambling some eggs with handfuls of spinach or Kale, even reheating veggies from dinner the night before. I slice up half and avocado and BOOM… a meal! Having a balanced mix of green, leafy vegetables blended with fruit, protein and healthy fat first thing in the morning can cut those sugar cravings hours later.
Work to keep stress in check.
You don’t need to tell women stress makes us eat. We wrote the book on eating to feel better and let me just say, there is no shame in enjoying comfort foods. However, eating when we’re stressed can quickly get out of hand. Take five minutes to meditate or get up and stretch during the stressful moments of the day to give your mind a break and reset.
Add more spice to your food.
Spices like cinnamon can help regulate blood sugar levels. And is there a more “fall” spice than cinnamon? When our blood sugar is stable, we don’t experience extreme highs or lows when it comes to our energy. Try adding cinnamon to that morning smoothie or dusting a piece of fruit like a banana with it. You can also drink cinnamon tea.
Stay hydrated throughout the day.
Ugh, another problem solved by plain old water. Seriously, we get it [but we still don’t do it]. Make sure to have a full glass of water with each meal and if you find you’re hungry shortly after eating, you may just be thirsty.
Eat plenty of fiber.
Think of fiber as your super sidekick. The Robin to your Batman. Eating fiber-rich foods will help you feel full longer so you can avoid snacking as much. Grabbing an apple will give you a dose of sweetness plus natural fiber to fill you up. Double win.
Go easy on the caffeine.
The caffeine in coffee (96 mg per cup, on average) can send us soaring in minutes and crashing hours later. Consider swapping out your morning cup of coffee for a cup of hot green tea, which is naturally lower in caffeine (26 mg per cup). Mix in a bit of nutrient-rich Manuka honey for some better-for-you sweetness. I still enjoy my morning cup of coffee, but I keep it to one cup and I’ve noticed a huge difference.
As I always say, it’s about balance. I know many of my days this season will include a sweet treat of some kind, and that’s OK. How do you stay on track with your nutrition during the holidays? Let me know in the comments.