5 Ways to Boldly Face the Onslaught of Sugary Holiday Treats and Desserts


By Heather Callaghan

Many of us will partake in treats this holiday – this is a call to those who are dreading the holidays for their temptations and want strength to do what’s best for them. It’s a call to invite me or a fellow brownie-blocker to your parties – not as a nag – but as your Burgess Meredith – moral support in your corner as you block Apollo Creed’s punches with your face. At least, that’s what it feels like to refuse to eat every single dessert in sight when others are saying “just try it!” After applying these sugar-and-willpower hacks you will feel more like a Jedi and it will take more than a mere frosted cupcake to tempt you.

However, the holidays or other special occasions like birthdays and weddings make refraining more difficult. Whether you just want some more fortitude facing treats and relatives, have an allergy or special diet – or if you are trying to abstain from candy and desserts altogether – don’t miss these little-known tips. You got this.

Only you can be the CEO of your life - only you can live inside your body. Click to Tweet

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1.) Draw your line in the sand (what do you want?) – Only you can be the CEO of your life, including for your body. Only you live with your consequences, good or bad. Drawing that line in the sand is an important exercise to see what it is you really want before going into the fray. If you want sweets decide how many and when. Be realistic. I think I used to set the goal too high on purpose so that I would have to “fail” – because what I really wanted was to gorge on sweets. I wanted the perceived benefits of life without sugar but didn’t want the responsibility for my actions. Then I could blame someone else, shame myself and start the whole cycle over. Since I wasn’t fully decided and left it up to fate, I was actually choosing to be swayed. I chose to drive in the backseat of my life. I was hoping it would magically be easy to resist sweets. It can be easy to abstain or cut back – with some mindful preparation. Decide what you really want – feelings should take the backseat.

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2.) The 30-Second willpower hack – It’s exercise! When tempted, just exercise for 30 seconds. You can thank researcher Kelly McGonigal for that discovery. Along with willpower, exercise builds beneficial gut bacteria which increases B vitamins and keeps candida fungus in check. It’s one more way to decrease stress – a reason people run to sugar. It also increases dopamine uptake – and that’s another huge reason why people run for sugar in the first place. Sugar acts like a quick shot of dopamine that works in an identical mechanism to illicit drugs. Exercise provides a better source of dopamine and a better way to focus than sugar with its sudden crash. (PS – sugar depletes B vitamins and kills gut bacteria!)

3.) Realize that sweets don’t benefit you in any way – This is the Allen Carr Jedi mind-trick that Carr used to help literal millions of people break their crippling psychological dependency on tobacco, alcohol and overeating. If you’re trying to stop an addiction but deep down, you harbor beliefs that the substance is beneficial in someway, you have a conflict of wills and you will submit to the desire every time. If the desire for that “benefit” is seen for the false illusion it really is, it will dissipate and won’t torment you anymore. We often make the mistake of negotiating with our temptations – but you can’t even be tempted by something you have no desire for. Do you need counseling to get through a day without deliberately smashing your fingers with a hammer? Of course not – it’s not an issue because you have no desire and there are no perceived benefits, just as there are no temptations about hundreds of other things we don’t have to think about not doing.

Sweets don’t add anything to your holiday – they take things away from your experience. They can zap your energy, moods and immune system. They only add risks, Candida imbalance, pounds and toothaches. You’re not missing anything by passing them up – but if you’re having health issues you might miss out on social time if eating sweets caused you to feel sick or depressed your immune system. Or depressed your spirits. “You’re not missing out on anything” is something I have to remind myself often.

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4.) Develop rehearsed lines for your family and friends – Once you’ve drawn your line in the sand you need to stand behind it and be serious. My friends and family used to know that all they had to do was offer again because it was clear I didn’t mean what I said. Clearly, I wasn’t really on a cleansing diet so much as I was on the whisper of the concept of a diet. Be careful – declaring your diet to family and friends can get ugly because it can be perceived incorrectly or trigger insecurities. Food has always been personal, but that also means it’s your personal choice too. That being said, I never go to someone’s house expecting them to “cater” to my preferences – that’s my job. You also have the right to politely decline anything you wish – give yourself permission if you never have before. You might be able to explain ahead of time that you must abstain and that they need not worry, but often that doesn’t work.

Here are examples of pre-rehearsed lines:

  • That dinner was so good – oh wow I’m full!
  • I’m good, thank you.
  • No thank you.
  • I couldn’t right now, but maybe later (then don’t).
  • You did a great job making that.
  • That looks lovely – I could take it home for later.

Notice the progression. I have used all of these in one breath for when someone will not take no for an answer. If this happens take the treat home and either put it in the freezer for another day or throw it away. Yes, you have permission to chuck it directly in the trash. The world’s smartest woman answered this dilemma the same way and said it would be more wasteful to eat stuff to spare people’s feelings because of gluttony and what it does to you. It becomes waste either way. Polite but firm refusal precludes most arguments provided that you actually mean it. Remember #1 and strengthen your boundaries.

5). Knock Candida away from the reins – This one tip probably gives you the biggest advantage of them all. Candida Albicans, a normally harmless fungus in the body can get out of control – and it honestly feeds on sugar. Candida is said to hijack our desires – taking the reins of our minds right in the gut and demanding sugar – its food source. If you have to take antibiotics you will have a much easier time if you abstain from sugar and refined flours. It is much, much easier not to desire sugar in the first place if you address the overgrowth of this domineering, sugar-craving fungus. Probiotics are absolutely the best way to keep Candida in check. The best one I’ve ever taken was called ABC by Systemic Formulas – only available through health professionals. I took mega doses and finished the bottle in 9 days and lost my sweet tooth almost permanently. I currently take a different version of this Garden of Eden probiotic. See which kinds and doses work best for you or seek consultation. Drink a low sugar kombucha whenever possible, eat sauerkraut, kimchi, tempeh, fermented vegetables – and don’t be afraid to consume probiotics with a starchy food. It’s the ultimate catalyst for making them work.

Caprylic acid is something that people often take to combat Candida – did you know that caprylic acid is found heavily in coconut oil? A recent study found that coconut oil can fight Candida yeast infections and showed a 90% reduction in fungal colonies. Use centrifuge or cold pressed and add to smoothies and other recipes. The Coconut Oil Miracle has a whole chapter on fighting infections and at least five pages referencing caprylic acid. MCT oil is 75% caprylic acid versus the 8% found in coconut oil. People add MCT to their coffee to make it “bulletproof.” As an added bonus, the healthy fats in coconut oil will satisfy and help combat sugar cravings.

Check out what’s up next – 5 MORE Ways to Boldly Face the Onslaught of Sugary Holiday Treats and Desserts – it will have more mind tricks as well as tangible solutions during the holidays.

This article (5 Ways to Boldly Face the Onslaught of Sugary Holiday Treats and Desserts) can be republished under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Heather Callaghan and Natural Blaze.com.

Heather Callaghan is an independent researcher, natural health blogger and food freedom activist. You can see her work at NaturalBlaze.com. Like at Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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