This is a ‘scary’ time of year, for many reasons. The seasons have changed, and the cooler weather, along with the long dark evenings result in many of us snacking more in the evening time.

Worse, however, is Halloween. The availability of cheap candies which are being promoted everywhere, makes it difficult to avoid sugar.

We must realize that sugar is highly inflammatory, and will promote weight gain via the insulin effect.  The body will shut down fat oxidation in the presence of sugar.  Sugar is also highly addictive and once we start with this substance it is difficult to stop. 

What should we do?

First, recognize that the temptations for sugar will be high, especially now, but at almost any time in the future. 

As easy (or hard) as this sounds, do not bring candies into the house.  If this is impossible, try to hide them or at least keep them out of sight.  If you must have something sweet, try an alternative.  Try berries and sugar free yogurt or a protein bar. 

Avoid the situation.  If ‘dangerous’ snacks are around, and the urge to eat them is there, try to go for a walk or do some type of physical activity.  Do anything you can to delay the desire for instant gratification, this may just be enough to stop the intense cravings in the moment. 

Eat fruit!

Think beyond the moment when the urge to snack is high.  Think about the guilt that you will likely feel, and how these kinds of behaviors are stopping you from reaching your goal of weight loss.  Remember how inflammatory sugars are.  A patient today told me how all her muscles were aching and her ankles were puffy with a marked increase in consumption of carbohydrates in the past two weeks.  These symptoms are all directly related to glucose and high insulin levels.

If the urge to have candies is high, try to eat or drink something high in protein beforehand as this may subdue those cravings (currently I’m simply using a small protein shake which helps).

This is a difficult time of year.  I blame the food companies for making packaged food so highly addictive and obesogenic, however we are never going to be able to change the profit motivated cheap packaged foods that are made.

Your metabolic health needs to be your priority.  Keep your focus on your health now, and 10 years from now…avoid those sugars!

You can do it. Never give up, and try not to get frustrated with the journey!

Dr. B