Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

How to Fight Christmas Cravings

Christmas is coming, and the goose isn’t necessarily the only thing that’s getting fat.

We are beset with temptations and indulgences on all sides, be it the office party, festive drinks with friends, or family blowouts.

For anybody seeking to maintain or get in shape, this can be an incredibly challenging time of the year and one where any craving can be far too readily indulged.

Whenever I encounter the need to fight sugar cravings, I always take a moment to recall the tale of Pavlov’s dog.

Ivan Pavlov was the Russian researcher who, by ringing a bell immediately before feeding his dogs, conditioned them to salivate merely at the sound.

In other words, they had a physiological response to a totally neutral stimulus (in this case, a bell).

There are things that we associate with food simply because we are conditioned to – not because we especially want or need that food.

For instance, I myself cannot settle properly in the cinema without a huge tub of popcorn sitting in my lap, although I now smuggle the homemade stuff with added organic butter and Celtic sea salt.

Others absolutely must have Christmas pudding on Christmas Day, but how many people want it at any other time of the year?

chocolate and weight loss

Unfortunately, we are conditioned to associate food with everything from a festive celebration to a fight with a partner. And it is this path that leads us to overeating, overindulgence, and a derailing of our carefully nurtured goals.

If we want to break this habit and maintain our peace of mind over the holiday season, then we need to exercise self-discipline and break the cycle of comfort/party/social eating.

I want to give you advice that you can put to immediate practical use, so let’s eschew the platitudes about motivation and desire.

That wavers for all of us when the box of Quality Street chocolates is calling our name! (Oops, you have discovered my guilty secret now!)

The next time you start to feel yourself succumbing to a craving that will derail your fitness/physique efforts, follow these simple strategies.

I promise you that far more often than not, your willpower will prevail, and you won’t be left with a pile of sweet wrappers stuffed down the back of the sofa. (Oops, there goes my second guilty secret!)

4 tips to fight cravings

1. Brush your teeth – When cravings strike, brushing your teeth with minty toothpaste is a great way to kill your desire for anything sweet stone cold dead in its tracks.

2. Eat pickled onions – Consuming something totally the opposite of your craving will immediately halt the need for anything sweet. Pickled onions, gherkins, red cabbage or other vegetables in vinegar can be a great way to stop your cravings.

3. Get active – I am not going to be unrealistic here and recommend that you go pump iron or run 3 miles. However, a nice brisk walk should release feel-good endorphins that will nicely balance out the brain chemistry and stop the craving.

4. Try this trick – Heavy cream and added glutamine (as little as 10g can do the trick. but sometimes more is needed) is a tip I picked up from Charles Poliquin. If you are really watching the calories, then even just adding a liberal dose of glutamine to a glass of water can work just as well for some.

Here are another 9 ways to deal with sugar cravings that really work. 

Chocotrients greens powder to stop sugar cravings

Try UP’s Chocotrients – a delicious, chocolate flavoured, low-calorie blend of nutrient-rich superfoods and greens to beat your cravings.

It is also worth reminding yourself that most cravings and overeating triggers fade to nothing after only 15 minutes. So if you stay strong and practice one of the “tricks” outlined above, you will come out on top.

Finally, we should also note that life is for living, and unless Christmas is right in the middle of your athletic season or a month away from your photoshoot, then a few indulgences of what you fancy aren’t going to kill you.

In fact, if you are one of those disciplined souls who religiously follows a tight nutritional plan, now might be a good time to loosen the reigns a little and just relax for a few days.

Read Nick’s thoughts on how Christmas makes us all fatter and what you can do to stop the weight gain. 

Leave a comment

Latest Posts

© 2024 Ultimate Performance. All Rights Reserved.