4 Ways to Handle Sweet Gifts

The holidays are a time for gift giving, which likely means you’ll end up on the receiving end of a tin of caramel-covered popcorn, a box of fudge, or a traditional fruitcake. If you’re following the South Beach Diet, you already know that enjoying too many sweets can lead to a vicious cycle of blood-sugar swings and cravings for more. That’s not to say you can’t indulge a little, however. The South Beach Diet is a lifestyle, after all — one that allows you the occasional indulgence not just during the holidays but throughout the year. Even so, it helps to have an action plan in place before the edible gifts start to arrive.

Here are some pointers:

Share it: Refrigerate or freeze sweet gifts, then bring on a festive platter to the next holiday party, where they can be enjoyed by other partygoers. Or bring the goodies into the office and share them with your coworkers.

Swap it: Consider a gift swap with a family member or friend. Did your neighbor receive a carton of fresh citrus fruits? Perhaps she’d be willing to trade it for your fancy box of petits fours.

Nip it in the bud: If you can, drop a few hints before the holidays — tell your family and close friends that nonfood gifts are preferred. Is there something special you’ve had your eye on? Let your aunt know you’ve been admiring the latest mini food processor or exercisewear — then hope that she heeds your clues and chooses one in lieu of her traditional candy tower!

Indulge in moderation: Remember, it’s okay to allow yourself a few bites of your favorite holiday pie or a little dark chocolate (which has antioxidants that are good for your heart!) — as long as the rest of your holiday meals and snacks are South Beach Diet–friendly. If you continue to follow the South Beach Diet plan most of the time during the next few weeks — and don’t forget this includes regular exercise — you'll stay on track and avoid adding those notorious holiday pounds.

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