Don’t Let a Sweet Indulgence be a Delicious Disaster

20 Dec

Here is a question that I received from Foodpicker.org

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 sweet candied smell of the holidays is difficult to avoid around the holiday season. Those tempting treats don’t have to be avoided, but you must be careful to keep your carbohydrate count stable and under control.  Here are a few tips to help you over the holiday season.

1.      Know how to count carbs!  The more grams of carbohydrate ingested, the greater the glycemic response in your body.  Food labels will always provide you with an accurate count of carbohydrate grams, but remember to always check that serving size.  If you know that you are bound to eat a cookie or two, substitute sweets into your meal plan for other carbohydrate. Try not to do this too often though because a sweet indulgence may become a sweet disaster.

2.       Do not forget that holiday sweets like cookies, ice cream, cakes, and candy often count as ‘empty calorie’ carbohydrate foods.  There is no nutritional value to these sugary, carbohydrate filled villains.  Instead of reaching for a cookie, try making yourself a delicious dessert with fruit.  One of my favorite desserts is ‘Sweet Poached Pear Dessert’.  Google is a no fail search engine when you are looking for ways to eat healthier sweets during the holidays.

3.      Include exercise in your daily routine.  Studies show that integrating 20 minutes of moderate exercise will increase your endorphin levels and make you feel happier. The happier you feel, the healthier you feel.  In my experience, the healthier I feel, the less likely I am to reach for an ‘empty calorie’ carbohydrate food.  Another great benefit of exercise is that it keeps your blood glucose levels steady and improves insulin sensitivity.  Exercise in itself is a great building block to that thing inside all of us that we call ‘Willpower’.  If you tend to overindulge in sweets, get on your running shoes and do a few laps around the neighborhood.

So, when those alluring holiday sweets are calling your name and you start to feel yourself inch toward that starchy, sugary-coated treat, shake your head and ask yourself this question, “Is it a nice day for a run?”

 

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