All those yummy holiday sweets…it’s enough to send your head into a perpetual spin if you are trying to maintain your weight during the holiday season. Today we’re talking about how to conquer the lure of holiday sweets.
The closer it gets to Christmas, the harder it becomes to resist the lure of holiday sweets. Many of us have grown up with the holiday baking tradition. About two weeks before Christmas you can be sure that millions of mamas are baking up all of their family favorites and sharing them with friends, neighbors and co-workers.
You can try barring your kitchen from all Christmas baking, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be faced with temptingly sweet situations outside of your home. It seems that sweet treats and Christmas go hand-in-hand. We all have visions of sugar plumbs dancing in our heads this time of year.
So, what does that mean for our waistlines? Some will say the only way to conquer the lure of holiday sweets is to resist them completely. I have a good friend who chooses this route and it works well for her. According to her, and others like her, it’s easier to turn the switch off completely than to allow any room for temptation. Now, I can’t really argue against this reasoning as it has obviously worked for her and many others.
However, where does that leave the rest of us who find it hard to envision Christmas without a few sweets here and there. For me, I actually find it easier to control my sweet tooth if I don’t tell myself they are forbidden. Unfortunately for me, the more I try to ban a particular food, the more I want it. That’s why my entire food philosophy is built on moderation because I honestly believe that food is a vital part of the human experience.
Because of this, I have developed various tips and tricks to conquer the lure of holiday sweets. These tips are specifically focused on the unique situation of the holidays. You may also want to check out how I handle desserts on the other eleven months of the year.
People make a lot of traditional desserts over the holiday season. Just because Aunt Milly makes her signature fruit cake every December does not mean that you have to eat it all if you don’t like it. When you are approached with a particular sweet ask yourself, “Do I love this?”…if the answer is no, then just say no! I guarantee there will be something coming along that you can’t resist, so save your calories for that.
A mind is a terrible thing to waste…and as long as you are reaching into the candy bowl to grab handfuls of Christmas M&M’s, you can be 100% sure that you have no earthly idea how many calories you are consuming. Engage your mind by choosing the portions you plan to eat. Do not eat any sweet unless you have placed it on a plate or napkin first.
This action engages your brain and allows you to make mindful decisions of exactly how much you plan to eat.
I am crazy about those dream bars filled with coconut, pecans and chocolate chips all held together by gooey condensed milk. I find them hard to resist…so, I will not make those until Christmas Eve because I know there will be a crowd of people on Christmas Day to help me eat them! I don’t need those sweet treats sitting around my house for weeks before Christmas.
Chocolate dipping is a huge tradition in my house. We dip it all…peanut butter balls, Oreos, peanuts and pretzels. Now, I love any and everything dipped in chocolate, but I make trade-offs. I stay away from the peanut butter balls all together because I see all the stuff that goes into those. I also don’t eat the Oreos dipped in mint chocolate.
Instead, I eat chocolate dipped peanuts and pretzels and I make a batch of Ritz crackers dipped in mint chocolate. Each night I allow myself one mint cookie and a small handful of the dipped peanuts and pretzels. I even did this last Christmas when I was in the middle of my cutback and I still lost weight.
Think about the sweets that you especially crave. Is there a way that you can alter or modify them to make them a little more figure-friendly?
This is actually one of my all-year-round tips, but I think it bears repeating here. Resist the temptation to overindulge on sweets just because it’s the holiday season. Repeat after me, “I will not eat a huge hunk of any holiday dessert with piping hot coffee for breakfast!”
Save your sweet calories for entertainment…for parties or for enjoying time with those you love around a crackling fire. Do not just insert them into every meal because they are everywhere this time of year. Holiday sweets are special treats, so don’t reduce them to mere side dishes.
Just remember, you are not powerless to the lure of holiday sweets. You can make the choices of what foods go into your body and still enjoy the holiday season.
I actually learned to make these kinds of choices when I decided to get off of the weight roller coaster two years ago. After years of yo-yo dieting I started a process of journaling to uncover my expectations, assumptions and flawed thinking about food. For years I felt helpless and hopeless against the lure of food…basically, I was acting on my beliefs. Maybe you’ve also wondered why you can’t seem to resist food. If so, I’ve written a book to help others work through the same process as I did…what do you have to lose, but the weight that has frustrated you for years.
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Such a very useful post at this time of year Shellie. I’m now off to spend the day batch baking my home made fudge which I then box up and give as gifts. I get all the pleasure of making and giving, but don’t eat any myself. See my halo shine? Happy Christmas x
Anna’s Island Style
Wow Anna, your halo is practically blinding me right now 😉 Have a very Merry Christmas!
Such sensible ideas. I’m usually an avoid totally person because if I have a little taste I want more, but might have to try some of these instead.
For me, there’s just something about knowing I can have something if I want it. I guess I don’t deal well with the forbidden. Thanks for stopping by Emma…have a Merry Christmas!
Shellie, I love all of these tips to control sweet eating. You are such an inspiration.
Thanks so much, Kathleen. You are always such an encouragement. I really appreciate it. Have a merry Christmas!
Great ideas! Especially since I spent the day making Grand Marinier Truffles, Pecan pie bars, and party mix! Visiting from #blogsharelearn
Haha, Jennileigh…you will definitely need a plan with all that yummy stuff…I am crazy about pecans too! Thanks for stopping by.
Great tips to remember. I also always go to holidays parties after eating something healthy at home.
Good tip, Wendy. You definitely don’t want to show up to a party with a hungry tummy!