How Sugar Can Ruin Your Holiday Fun

candy cane cookies

You know I love my treats, so there is no way I’m going to try to stop you from eating your favorite holiday goodies. Especially because I know that some peanut butter blossoms, tri-level brownies, and crinkle cookies are in my near future. But, there does come a point where too much sugar is not helping anything, and it’s sure as heck not going to make the holidays more enjoyable.

Sugar is pretty addictive, as you’ve probably heard. Its no wonder that when we start eating the holiday treats that we have a hard time stopping ourselves from grabbing another. The problem is, this overload of sugar is messing with our moods, it’s messing with our hunger cues, and it’s messing with our energy levels.

You’ve heard of a sugar rush, right? Imagine it like racing to the top of a mountain. You scream and yodel and have a great time at the top, but then there is only one way down…and it is steep. Better known as the sugar crash. The way down is no fun for you, or anyone around you. This is where the mood swings come in. And the energy crashes. And the desire for more sugar to get your energy back.

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Not only is sugar messing with your mood and energy, it’s totally screwing up your hunger signals. Let me get scientific on you for a minute. There is a hormone called leptin in our body that helps the stomach signal to the brain that it’s full. When we become leptin resistant, meaning the hormone no longer releases, it’s hard for us to know when to stop eating, because we don’t know when we are full. Take a guess at one of the main contributors to leptin resistance?

Yep, no surprise there. SUGAR.

So not only is eating more sugar bad for you, the sugar you are eating is causing you to eat more of every kind of food. Which really starts to make sense why we tend to eat and drink way too much over the holidays. And eating and drinking too much makes us feel uncomfortable in our skin and clothes. Which makes us not want to go to all the events, and leaves us less excited to continue the celebrations. See the domino effect sugar has on your whole holiday season? Sure, it seems fun in the moment, but the aftermath makes it not worthwhile.

I know, not the most fun news you wanted to talk about today. But I want to give you some advice on how to deal with all the sugar that is about to take over your home, office, and every store you walk into.

Take a minute and decide if you really want it.

Are you eating it only because it is there, because you need a distraction, or because you are stressed/sad/mad? If that’s the case, figure out something better to do, because sugar is only going to be a quick fix with long-term negative effects. Find a quick fix that has no negative effects, like talking with a coworker, taking a nap, going for a walk, etc.

Eat only the good stuff!

There are good holiday treats and subpar holiday treats. You know what you like; you know your favorites, so why settle for anything less than the best? If it’s a store-bought cookie that you would never even be tempted to buy yourself, than you sure as heck shouldn’t be eating it. You will already be eating more sugar than normal, so save room for the best of the best.

Notice and savor it.

Grabbing a cookie in the kitchen and eating it on the way back to your desk is not a way to enjoy a dessert. Take that cookie, sit down and look at that cookie, and enjoy the heck out of it! I personally like to enjoy my dessert with a cup of tea, and maybe you want to have it alongside a coffee. However you eat you treat, just make sure you are taking time to notice and savor it, because that will leave you satisfied. And when you are satisfied, you won’t need five more.

Sugar is only your friend to a certain point, and then it turns on you. So stick to these three tips and stay on the good side of sugar this holiday season. You and your family will be thankful for it, and it will be much easier to enjoy the most wonderful time of the year.

Want some help enjoying the holidays without overindulging? Sign up for the free 12 Days of Healthy Christmas. Inspiration, motivation, support, and PRIZES! 

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