The Holiday Sugar Rush

At Prowess Nutrition, we have three main nutrition principles that guide how we think about food: 1) focus on whole foods, 2) focus on balance, and 3) limit processed carbs and added sugars. Let’s talk about that third nutrition principle today: limiting processed carbs and sugars. We’re right at the beginning of December, which means most of us have had our fair share of pumpkin pie by now, and are headed into the season of Christmas cookies, baked goods, and candies readily available. How in the world do we limit our processed carbohydrate and added sugar intake with so many temptations at every turn? Let’s talk about a few ways to handle this: 

  1. Adjust your goals: if you know that the holiday season is going to be busier, more stressful, and full of social gatherings and sweet treats for you, it may be really helpful to create some season-specific action steps or goals. If we continue to aim for challenging goals based around our normal schedules and capacities, we might just get totally overwhelmed and give up! But a goal specifically for the holiday season, such as “choose sweet treats mindfully,”might actually help you better stay on track with your long-term goals.  
  1. Pair sugary foods with other macronutrients: Have you ever felt like you knew you were full, but you just kept snacking on sugary food anyway? The combination of sugar and fat not only tastes delicious, but can be very addictive, making it hard to stay in tune with our body’s hunger and fullness cues. To combat this, focus on consuming adding in some protein to balance out the carbohydrates and fats found in holiday desserts. 
  1. Maintain your other healthy habits: don’t let your sleep and exercise routine fall by the wayside during the holiday season. You will be much more likely to feel “bleh” and give into cravings if you are sleep deprived or lacking the endorphins you get from working out! Maintaining those health routines will also signal to your body to continue with your healthy nutrition habits, too. 
  1. Don’t restrict: finally, watch out for that restrictive mindset; it always backfires. When you have thoughts of “I need to work out extra hard after this” or “I’m not allowed to eat that food,” replace them with thoughts like “I will care for my body by eating well and exercising” or “this delicious food fits in my balanced nutrition plan.” 

Try these tips out this holiday season. You may find that you not only feel better, but that finding balanced helps you enjoy some delicious treats with confidence! 

Here’s to a happy, healthy, balanced holiday season!

Emma Rains

Nutrition Coach

Prowess Fitness + Nutrition

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