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Break the sugar cycle

The holidays are a wonderful time of year, but they can wreak havoc on your family’s healthy diet habits that you have worked so hard to establish.  Cravings for sugary sweets only seem to multiply with the more you consume.  Ever tried to eat a single piece of chocolate or cookie? Yeah, that’s not really happening…. here are a few tips to break the sugar cycle by recognizing what your sugar cravings can actually mean, and some suggestions for alternative snacks to satisfy your palate without sending your diet crashing to the ground…

  1. Drink a glass of water.  Sugar cravings could just mean that you are thirsty, but your brain has convinced itself that it needs a snack.  Liven up water for your kids by adding lemon, berries, etc.  The commotion of the holidays can easily make you forget to stay hydrated, so try to have a drink before reaching for that next cookie.
  2. Eat a piece of whole fruit.  An apple or a small orange can give you exactly the amount of sweet that you’re looking for, while adding in extra nutrients and vitamins.  Fruit also has Vitamin C, which can help to ward off the sniffles!
  3. Incorporate whole grains into meals. Side dishes like brown rice, quinoa, or whole grain bread can help to keep cravings at bay by keeping the body’s glycemic index low and keeping you full longer.
  4. Make sure that your family’s meals and snacks are still planned.  The holidays typically mean lots of running around, parties, and impromptu visitors, so try to keep as normal of a schedule as possible.  Pre-positioning healthy snacks in your car, backpacks, etc. can make reaching for a snack on the run a better option than waiting until you are starving and staring at a plate of cookies from the neighbors.

Lastly, enjoy the holiday! Every day is a new day, and eating yourself into a sugar coma one day doesn’t totally negate your typical healthy diet.