Post-Holiday Highs: Diabetes, Candy, and How to Binge Responsibly

Avoid the after-sugar blues with these simple strategies.


Before virtually every holiday, convenient stores and supermarkets alike line their aisles with bags upon bags of themed candy. Christmas tree peanut butter cups, cream-filled eggs, and chocolate hearts abound. Although you don’t have to resist the urge to indulge in these holiday snacks, you do have to exercise some restraint and keep a few things in mind—particularly when those themed desserts go on sale and become even more tempting.

Get back on track!

Moderation is Key

You’ve likely heard the phrase somewhere: “Everything in moderation.” Holiday snacks are no different: although you don’t have to eschew chocolate or cupcakes altogether, you do have to eat your treats sparingly and punctuate each session with some healthy foods, as well.

Candy can be particularly problematic because it does not contain any fiber or other filling foods to help balance the sugar entering your body. Instead, the sugar in candy has an immediate spike effect. If possible, eat candy after a meal or alongside some green tea or coffee. While doing so will not mitigate the effects of candy altogether, it will give your body a chance to digest the sugar more effectively.

Avoid the TV

Be intentional in your decision to indulge in your post-holiday treats. Having an open sack of candy beside you as you watch TV is a recipe for disaster. Studies have shown that people eat far more while zoned out with a television than they do when sitting down and eating distraction-free. To help your body avoid sky-high blood sugar, eat sweets only when you have the time and presence of mind to notice how much you are eating.

Although it may not be to the same degree, eating and reading could be similarly frustrating for your body. When you’d like to indulge, either take a single piece of candy from the bag and place the bag back into a cabinet or remove a single slice of pie, then place all serving utensils away and sit at the table to eat.

Consider Alternatives

If your sweet tooth rears its head every candy-laden holiday, practice using options. Using natural sweeteners such as honey and maple syrup can prove less damaging than refined sugar, as can flavoring treats with fruit and fruit juice. If you are unwilling or unable to skip the treats altogether, make your own healthy alternatives and enjoy your holiday to the fullest. This way, you can have your cake and eat it, too.


Cornell. Accessed 4/17/17.