‘Tis the season of giving, and that includes sugary treats–and lots of them–especially in the office. Even if you’re committed to packing or going out for healthy lunches, the cookies, candy and leftover pie that beckon from the break room can challenge even the strongest of wills. (As if the holidays weren’t already tough enough!)
So, knowing this is our reality, now through January 1, how can we keep from overdoing it? Yes Health coaches to the rescue! Here are six helpful tips for not just surviving–but thriving!–during the sweetest time of year:
1. This first suggestion might sound obvious, but try-try-try to stay out of the break room! If you normally need to put your food in the refrigerator, bring your own healthful foods in a thermal bag and thermos. Remember to pack everything you need for the day so you don’t have to set foot in the sweet-zone.
2. Plan ahead and be selective with your food choices. Preparing a lunch and healthy snacks the night before not only helps you stick to your wellness goals, but it also saves you money and a bunch of calories. Win-win!
3. Pack healthy snacks you can keep at your desk including: fresh fruits, nut butters (1-2 tbsp), nuts or trail mix (¼ cup or less), string cheese, plain yogurt and fresh fruit or vegetable sticks, hummus cups with whole grain crackers or veggie sticks, cottage cheese mixed with 1 tbsp nut butter and a pinch of cinnamon, edamame, hard boiled egg with a piece of fruit or ¼ avocado.
4. Get up and move! Take a brisk walk outside instead of making a trip to the M&M bowl. Set a walking distance goal each day and track your progress on the Yes Health app. You’ll get a boost of energy, brighten your mood and reduce holiday stress! If you need extra motivation, ask an officemate to join you.
5. Drink more water. When you’re trying to stay on track during the holidays, make your water bottle your constant companion. Drinking more water not only helps you feel fuller longer, it can also curb your appetite so you’re not as tempted to reach for sugary snacks. Staying well hydrated also promotes a healthy immune system, which is a huge bonus during cold and flu season.
6. Sate your sweet tooth. Completely depriving yourself of all holiday treats will only lead to an overcorrection (e.g. binging). So go ahead, live a little. Fruit–especially baked pears, which are in season and beyond delicious–are a great choice. And when you’re really craving a cookie, just opt for a healthier, low-sugar version. (All you need are rolled oats, a ripe banana, almond or peanut butter, a dash of salt, chocolate chips and chopped nuts of your choice–you can add chia seeds too for extra texture–then bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes. It’s that easy!). Try this recipe or some of these.
Check out these baked goods recipes that require just one cup of sugar or less (emphasis on the “less”) from Food52.com. You still get all of the delicious flavor without the extra calories.