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Beware of the Sweets | Staying Healthy During the Holidays


By: Dr. Kim Feinstein, Psy.D., Red Mountain Clinical Psychologist and Behavioral Weight Loss Specialist


 

October marks the beginning of the holiday weight gain cycle, which continues through Thanksgiving and Christmas. This season often results in average holiday weight gain of 7–12 pounds! Thankfully, there are ways to keep from gaining extra weight.

 

How to Avoid Tempting Fall Treats:

 

Purchase candy you do not like.

Do NOT buy your favorite candy. This way you will not be tempted to dig in.

 

Do NOT buy any candy until the very last minute.

There will be little time to indulge and then you can hand them out quickly! Get rid of all of the remaining candy and do NOT keep it in your house.

 

If you are a skilled, mindful eater: savor ONE piece of your favorite candy per day.

Decide ahead of time what time of day you most crave the sweet treat and save your treat for that time. Then, slowly savor and experience it.

Remember, it is ok to indulge your sweet tooth once in a while, as deprivation is not the solution. Learning mindful eating behaviors is the secret and it takes some practice. However, if you know yourself, and you know you are unable to just stop at one, do not try this exercise yet as it may trigger you to fall off of the wagon. In time, and with practice, you will learn to just have one.

 

Try chewing sugarless gum.

Sugarless gum gives you a burst of sweetness for very little calories. Plus, it’s RM3® approved!

 


 

Did you know?

Often times, alternative names for sugar are used on ingredient lists! Familiarize yourself with these terms in order to avoid accidental consumption of excess sugar in your everyday foods:

  • Glucose
  • Maltodextrin
  • Evaporated Cane Juice
  • Molasses
  • Fruit Juice

Click here to view a list of 50 different names for sugar.

 


 

Replace candy with healthier choices!

Choose sweeter foods, like fruit! You will thank yourself later.

 

Get creative.

Distribute healthier options that children will enjoy, such as Halloween stickers, crayons, pencils, fake tattoos, or even scary Halloween jewelry (i.e. plastic spider rings).

 

Be honest with yourself.

If you notice you are bargaining with yourself (i.e., “I’ll eat the candy and forgo dinner”) or if you start telling yourself that you will eat candy today and start eating healthy again tomorrow, you are playing with fire. “Tomorrow” rarely happens and you begin your downward holiday season spiral.

 

Save your empty candy wrappers and count them.

Yes…count them! It is easy to go into denial and binge on “fun-size” candy bars, but if you save the wrappers, it will keep you out of denial and highly aware of how many you consumed.

 

Manage your hunger by continuing to follow your meal plan.

Your pre-planned meals will keep you feeling satisfied and make you less likely to raid the candy bowl.

 

Sip on water or a low-calorie beverage.

Keep your hands and mouth busy by drinking water or tea.

 


 

Looking for a partner to help guide you through your weight loss journey? Click here to request an appointment to meet with one of our licensed medical providers.