Dr. Maya Pande
Yes Virginia, It IS Possible to Decrease Your Sugar Intake During the Holidays!
Chocolate, cookies, candy, alcohol. These are all yummy things common during this time of year.
Headache, stomach ache, racing heart, inability to focus. These are all signs of a sugar hangover. It's also common this time of year.
And remember that alcohol, which can create its own special hangover, converts into sugar in our bodies! Double the bang!
The "Don't worry! It's Christmas!" state of mind that gives you an excuse to overdo it, can leave you feeling sluggish, tired and worn out in addition to the physical symptoms listed above.
I'm not telling you to avoid sugar this season because I'm just as guilty of eating it as the next person but here are some tips to help you avoid too much sugar during those holiday parties.
Don't show up starving! It is tempting to not eat all day to save room for the delicious food you're anticipating but this will cause you to overeat and be too hungry to make better choices.
Have your sweet but pick it wisely. Choose something you really love and savour it instead of wolfing it down without tasting it. As a popular TV chef says, 'Make it worth the calories'.
Hang out by the cheese tray. Cubes of cheese are said to curb sugar and carb cravings. Proteins like meat (not processed) or yogurt will also do the trick.
Drink some water in between your cocktails. It will help fill you up and negate some of the effects of alcohol. It doesn't negate it enough that you can drive home though!
If it's too late and you're already in the clutches of a sugar hangover, here's what you can do. It's only slightly less painful than the actual hangover.
DON'T EAT ANY MORE PROCESSED SUGAR. Your body will be craving it but don't give in.
Eat a proper meal. It can be a small meal, but make sure it has the right proportions of lean protein, vegetables and a little bit of good fat. This will help you feel sated and prevent you from breaking rule number 1.
Avoid carbohydrates like bread, pasta, rice and potatoes.
Fresh fruit can provide some natural sugars, if the cravings are too strong, but it's important to even limit your fruit intake at this time.
Drink lots of water to flush your system. Drinking enough water will help balance the sugar, alcohol and other toxins so they don't hang around and make your life miserable.
This is always going to be a time for indulgence so enjoy yourself! Just not too much. Happy Holidays!