Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Question of the week: Help with holiday sweets!

The following question was submitted by one of my readers, "I have diabetes and this time of year is the toughest for me. It seems holiday treats/sweets are everywhere tempting me! Is it ok to indulge a little? If not, how can I build up enough will power to avoid holiday sweets? "

The holiday season is difficult for everyone when it comes to avoiding holiday indulgences. Controlling even the slightest instance of coming in contact with ‘tempting’ foods is one way to effectively reduce your consumption. While you won’t be able to control all situations, focus on the many ones you can.

1. Make a mental note of tempting places and try to control them.
*Do you keep candy or cookies at your desk or workspace?
*Do you frequent the dining room table or pantry where you store all your holiday goodies?
Try making a pact with co-workers that goodies will be kept only in the break room, not at the front desk or in various offices. Mentally plan ahead how you will avoid tempting situations.

2. Limit to one-a-day
*Allow yourself one small serving of a cookie or piece of candy each day during the holiday season. Remember that you may have to compensate for it sometime during the day by reducing your total caloric intake or by burning a few extra calories while exercising. If you aren’t confronted with "holiday" foods that day, just skip your one-a-day – but don’t compensate and double-up on your serving the following day.

3. Never go to a party hungry

*Before you go to a holiday party, eat a healthy snack such as a serving of your favorite fruit, fat-free yogurt, or a low-fat, whole grain (no sugar added) granola bar. When you arrive at the party, you won’t be craving hors d’oeuvres and dip!

4. If you’re going to a potluck dinner bring a healthy dish to share such as a salad, veggie or fruit tray, or a low-fat/low-calorie dessert. This way you know you will at least one healthy choice on the buffet!

5. Use a small salad sized plate - you'll be less inclined to pile the food on it.

6. Skip the caloric beverage -- save your calories for dinner. Water with lemon or lime, diet soda, coffee, tea, or unsweetened iced tea are good choices.

7. Don't socialize near the food - you'll be more likely to snack. Take your plate and move to an area where there are no chips, dip, or other types of appetizers sitting around out of arms reach.

8. Don't be shy about saying "no thank you". Just because it is served to you, doesn't

7. Say No Politely

Many times you feel forced to eat foods because people keep putting it in front of you. Sometimes you feel that you will insult the host if you say no. Learn to say no politely, such as "No thank you, I’ve had enough. Everything was delicious", or "I couldn’t eat another bite. Everything tasted wonderful". You’ll find saying no isn’t so hard to do after all.

8. Focus on socializing

Don’t stand around the food table when you are at a party – focus your energies on making conversation with others instead of focusing on foods. Conversation is calorie-free. Take a walk around the block with a friend between courses or after dinner (weather-permitting).

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