Everybody goes through holiday cookie remorse after all of the festivities have ended. All those little cookies and cakes topped off with a plethora of other holiday goodies, catch up to us. Boy do they seem to stick unfavorably, no matter what you do. The next logical step is to just say “no” to the next treat and cut it out, just like that. This is what I call the New Year’s dream. We wish it was that simple to cease all cookie overdoses but it seems like the sweets remain unavoidable and irresistible, making it more difficult to shed the extra holiday weight. Why is it so hard to stick to the plan?


Sugar Rush

Studies are released regularly on sugar addiction with results stating that sugar can trigger the same neural response as drugs and alcohol, which leads to this cycle of craving and binging. This explains all those unsuccessful attempts to cut back on sugar. The sugar gets you high, and the fat from the holiday treats is stored, leaving you with extra to deal with after the festivities are over. So how can you get out of this sweet cycle?


How to break away


Swap sugary beverages for unsweetened teas, coffee, or water

When we think about dieting or clean eating, normally what comes to mind is food. We don’t always realize how much sugar we consume through beverages. The average amount of sugar consumed each year is one 156 pounds per person.[1] Beverages such as soft drinks, sweetened coffee drinks and sweetened water increase your insulin level and triggers your cravings. It is recommended to avoid these drinks and cut them out over a two week period. Try unsweetened teas or coffee instead. And if water is too plain for you, add a tiny bit of lemon or lime juice to it for some flavor without sugar.


Cease the treats

As difficult as this seems, it can be very doable if you do it in steps. To start off, just think about the foods and snacks you eat. Then think about which ones you know aren’t so healthy for you. Now rank the foods on how difficult it would be to steer clear from. The last step is to take the next two weeks and eliminate the foods from your diet one by one, starting from the most difficult and replacing each one with a healthier choice like nuts or fruits if your cravings spike up.


 Sugar scouting

Like beverages, there are lots of foods that contain high amounts of sugar that we normally don’t think about. These sneaky sugars could slide right past without you thinking twice. This can be avoided by checking nutrition labels on things like condiments, sauces, and salad dressings. Also, when you see “sugar-free” on a package, remember that many of these promising offerings are packed with simple carbs instead.


Maintain, don’t restrain

Remember that it’s okay to indulge every once in a while but just be aware of your cravings. If you have too much sugar, the cycle could suck you back in. Break away from the sugar cycle and get back on track. The holiday season doesn’t stay all year and neither should the extra pounds.


Other References


[1] http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=56589