Healthy Eating

The 4 Sneakiest Holiday Sugar Traps and How to Avoid Them

The holiday season can take quite a toll on our weight loss efforts.

With piles of candy, sweets, an endless variety of baked goods, not to mention eggnog, hot chocolate, and hot cider that put us at risk of drinking too many calories, it can be hard to stay on track!

The holidays are definitely a time to go easy on yourself and enjoy some of your favorite treats, just be careful not to let it go too far.

When it comes to avoiding sugar-binging during the holidays, knowing what to watch for is the secret.

Let’s take a look at 4 of the biggest holiday sugar traps, as well as tips for avoiding them.

Sugar Trap 1: Following the Wrong Advice

Some festive Christmas cookies

What’s the best way to control sugar cravings?

One method is to indulge a little, in order to prevent, say, a light hankering for pumpkin pie from turning into a full-on obsession.

Another method is to not even go there because even a small indulgence could send a “green light” to the subconscious mind and open the floodgates.

Some may even suggest overindulging in an attempt to gross yourself out to the point of killing a craving forever (I don’t suggest this).

Which advice is better? And does the constant debate make you want to skip the pie, tilt a can of whipped cream into your mouth and crank down the nozzle because at this point, does it even matter?!?

Yes, it does matter.

But all three of these methods are going to be great for some people while backfiring for others. The right sugar craving technique depends on you.

So instead of feeling tugged back and forth by advice, try out multiple methods and see which helps YOU find your treat “sweet spot,” then stick with it.

Sugar Trap 2: Letting Other People Serve You

Homemaker Holding Turkey on a Platter

When it comes to dishing up foods, other people can’t always be trusted.

I don’t know why, but when my family dishes up the pie, they dish up a PILE.

Maybe it’s sabotage, maybe they just want to bring me as much joy as possible. Either way, I somehow always end up with three times more than I need.

From what IdealShapers have said, most of you are getting similarly over-served.

The best way to avoid this is to be ready to jump up and serve yourself the minute someone offers you food.

If they beat you to the chase, offer to split it with someone, or scoop half back when no one’s looking (I do this all the time. No shame!).

Sugar Trap 3: Losing Count

An elaborate Christmas cupcake

Did you know there are up to 585 calories in a bakery cupcake?

If that’s not scary enough, what’s really wild is how easy it is to lose count—not just of how many calories are in a treat, but how many total treats you’ve eaten.

Sometimes when someone hands me a treat, I just take it without thinking.

The best way to avoid automatically accepting treats is to choose early on which treat you want to have for the day and keep your eyes on the prize.

I’ve probably seen this tip in every single diet article, yet we always forget, don’t we?

So it bears repeating: pick your 200 or 300-calorie favorite and stick with it.

You won’t go with the flow and sponge up thousands of calories, unawares.

Sugar Trap 4: Treats at Work

A man at work with cookies

I’ll be frank. The office sugar mania is WEIRD.

During the holidays, people can’t help but bring in holiday sweets to share.

This can be a real problem when you’re trying to eat healthily. The availability of treats, combined with the monotony of sitting at a computer all day leads to sugar cravings that seem to be extra powerful.

If you work in an office or have coworkers in any setting, you probably know exactly what I’m talking about.

So how can you fight the office “chocolate factory?”

My best advice is to stay satisfied. Make sure you don’t show up to work hungry and bring healthy meals and snacks to keep you satiated throughout the day.

Skip pointless breakfast foods in favor of healthy protein-filled meals and snacks (perhaps a meal replacement shake) because they’ll keep you full. Then, stuff them in your mouth as fast as you can before the treat fairies come around!

Chelsea Ratcliff

Chelsea Ratcliff

Writer and expert

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