You’ve done quite well in patches of the year. You’ve learnt about sugar, where it’s hidden and have had periods where you’ve been really ‘good’.
However, with the sugar season upon you (Christmas & New Year), there’s a little fear inside.
In fact, because you have started lower sugar life and been somewhat successful in places, you’re even more scared with it coming up to Christmas…
Are things going to take 5 steps back?
How am I going to handle all the sweet temptations? Will I eat too many mince pies? Should I try to avoid all the buffet deserts at the Christmas party?
If only I had a bit more control, a bit more discipline. Maybe I should pre-plan and make some more rules for when I attend this function/dinner party/Santa gathering!
So here’s something to consider around Christmas sugar fear…
The holy grail of changing your relationship with sugar, and potentially with food in general, is being able to eat anything you want, when you want without any fear. This includes sugar.
So that means having no
- Fear that you won’t revert back to old ways
- Fear that you will undo all the ‘good’ times.
- Fear that you will badly binge
- Fear that cravings will come back and you won’t be able to keep a handle on them.
- Fear that you’ll fall off the sugar wagon and be dragged back through the trials and tribulations of trying to quit again.
This might sound mission impossible to you right now. It would have to me a while ago.
I didn’t realise this until I didn’t feel it because it was just normal to me. Basically since I was at uni I realised, I went through every Christmas a little anxious at how much I would ‘let myself go’ around sweet food (before I knew about sugar in detail in 2012, it was just any ‘unhealthy’ food).
How much would I have to make up for things in January? Would I be craving more sweetness again? Would I have to go on a mini ‘detox’ and big exercise regime? How extreme?
Overeating sugar this time of year is completely normal. Most people do it. But then there’s overeating sugar to excess. Think 2 mince pies verses a whole box of 6. A large slice of panettone verses nearly the whole thing (been there). 1-2 slices of Christmas cake versus a slab which is eaten by going back for more like five times over an hour (also been there).
If you’ve impinged sugar restrictions onto yourself this year you are at risk of being in the latter category and you’re probably are full aware of it. Share your own experiences if you dare!
Hence the fear…
The fear of how you’ll behave when you have free reign at Christmas sweet foods that you have a history with.
There is another way
You might not believe me completely but you can feel fearless of sugar at Christmas. You can develop to have a trust in yourself to eat a more appropriate amount. You can repeat improved habits and change the beliefs about why you behave around like you do. And from my personal experience, it’s pretty awesome and liberating when you do this.
How? How? How?
I believe there is a need for a simultaneous approach that combines sweet tastebud recalibration and lower sugar habit change ALONGSIDE education on intuitive eating, mindset and the danger of restriction. You need both and it’s not always easy to navigate the line between them – but it can be done.
So what to do this Christmas?
Be mindful that I can’t give blanket advice easily here because you’re unique, however I will say a few things:
- Eat quality sweet (special occasions, expensive chocolate, favourite treats). Don’t eat cheap advent calendar chocolate or a cheap mince pie just because they are free (read ‘Are you a sucker for free sugar‘)
- Reduce unnecessary sugar with clever tips and new ideas. This embarrassing video I did two years ago has some suggestions. You can also try some healthy versions of festive favourites. I Quit Sugar, Madeleine Shaw and Deliciously Ella have some genius recipes that are fun to try.
- Say no to some things when you feel indifferent about eating them or don’t feel like they are filling a strong hunger or enjoyment need. Say yes to others and really empower your choices – enjoy them!!
- Pretend you CAN’T redeem your sins in January with anything extreme. Does anything change with this frame of mind?
- Keep an eye out for over restriction or excessive obsessing
- Focus on other forms of nourishment – gatherings, gift giving, crafts, work Christmas parties. The last are my favourite and I don’t have one this year… boo!
What’s going on with you?
Fearing sugar around Christmas is an important indicator of your relationship with it much more so than the actual sugar grams you eat.
If you do one thing from this article, just check in with yourself deeply and honestly to work out how much fear your really feeling as you enter into tricker seasonal territories.
Want more help to overcome the fear?
I have LOADS to share on this topic, much too much for a single blog post – loads of strategies, loads of tips and practical mindset ‘experiments’ that you can start doing during December to improve your relationship and self trust around sugar.
I’m going to be announcing something soon that is super special (and FREE!) and will help you take charge of sugar at Christmas like no other year.
Please make sure you are signed up here to get my e-mail notifications on it and look out in your inbox over the next few weeks. If you can’t wait then you can also book in for a free discovery session before I close this option at the end of November.
Relate? Can’t stop with panettone? Wish mince pies didn’t come in boxes of six? Comment below and say what you think!