How to Fight Holiday Food Cravings
While we don’t have scientific data to back up this claim, we think it’s fair to say that the holiday season is the most delicious time of year! The various celebrations and gatherings occurring from Halloween to New Years Day are often accompanied by sweet treats or seasonal dishes. While indulging is fine in moderation, it can be challenging to not overdo it.
Of course, for those with diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or other chronic conditions, it’s important to limit or avoid foods that could negatively impact your health.
If you need to limit your intake of sugary, fatty, or high-carb food this holiday season, here are some tips to fight holiday food cravings.
Thirst is often mistaken for hunger. If you start craving a certain food, drink a large glass of water. After a few minutes, you may not have the craving anymore if you had actually just been thirsty. Take a reusable water bottle with you to parties to help remind you to drink regularly. Water not your thing? Here are some tips on how to drink more water.
The holiday season can be busy, so it’s important to plan your meals and snacks ahead of time. This will help ensure you always have something healthy and satisfying to eat, and reduce the chances that you’ll hit the fast food window or order take-out instead. Try adding extra protein to your meals, as it helps you feel full longer.
Part of the reason we suggest meal planning is so that you can easily eat healthy food consistently throughout the day. This will keep you from getting so hungry that you end up overeating, or craving sugary food like candy bars.
No Restrictive Diets
When you first start a very restrictive diet, oftentimes the perceived deprivation will cause your brain to crave all the foods you are no longer allowed to have. Starting a restrictive diet during the holidays is just not a practical idea for most people. Instead, focus on eating healthy foods with proper nutrients to keep your body running efficiently.
Do Something Else
Next time you get an intense urge for a specific food, distract yourself for 20 minutes and see if it passes. Focusing on something else may help break it’s hold on your mind. If you are at a party, get into a conversation away from where the food is set up. At home, pick up a book, clean the dishes, call a friend, go for a walk, or anything else you enjoy that will be a happy distraction.
Telling you not to stress during the busy holiday season is definitely easier said than done, but it’s important. Stress can trigger a need to emotionally eat comfort foods that are usually high in fat and sugar. Try to find healthy ways to manage stress during this time, such as meditation or exercise.
Get Enough Sleep
When you’re overtired, your brain lacks impulse control. Getting a good night’s sleep will help reduce the risk of craving sugary or carb-heavy breakfast foods. Check out these tips on how to get better sleep.