The holidays are full of memorable moments, family fun and sweet sugary temptations. Trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle during a joyous time of year can sometimes prove more difficult than expected.

After all, most get-togethers and events during the holidays are centered around communal meals, and a majority of those meals offer everything from pies to cakes and everything sweet imaginable.

So, how can you help your loved one maintain their commitment to health and avoid a sugar overload during the holiday season? Understanding the impact sugar can have on their life and methods for avoiding unnecessary temptations is the perfect place to start.

We Understand: Sugar Consumption Can be Synonymous with the Holiday Season

It may seem like everywhere you turn during the holidays, someone is offering a sugary treat to celebrate the season – leaving your recovering loved one in a precarious position.

You see, many people who are recovering from a substance use disorder can find sugar consumption an unwanted trigger to their addiction. The manner in which sugar impacts the body can remind someone in recovery of the feelings they experienced while using drugs, turning an innocent sugary snack into a potential relapse trigger.

Additionally, if your loved one is progressing on their recovery journey, maintaining their healthier lifestyle is an essential component to their newfound sobriety, so indulging over the holidays is typically something they want to actively avoid.

While this can make navigating the holidays tricky, understanding your loved one’s progress in recovery and the importance of avoiding sugar throughout the season can be just the sober support they need to effectively avoid sugar throughout the holidays.

You Can Help Your Loved One: How to Avoid Eating Sugar During the Holidays

Being an active supporter of your loved one during the holidays is the first step toward helping them avoid unnecessary sugary temptations. While most people see sugary snacks as a harmless indulgence, recent medical studies have indicated that sugar is actually eight times as addictive as cocaine.

Harvard scientists found that individuals who consumed high-sugar milkshakes actually experienced neurological changes and, in particular, activated the addiction center in their brains.1

For your recovering loved one, this kind of trigger can instigate an unforeseen relapse and place them in a position where their sobriety is threatened by the sugary snacks they are offered throughout the holidays.

Offering them tips to avoid the sugary temptations associated with the holiday season can be just what they need to maintain their sobriety and still enjoy their time with family and friends.

Ideas to offer your loved one include:

  • Remaining active with family and friends
    Sitting around at annual family events and holiday parties can lead to unnecessary snacking, which is when the sugar-bug can easily set in. When your loved one stays active and engaged with family and friends, they can remain inspired and motivated to share their journey and the importance of avoiding sweet snacks.
  • Bring your own food to the party
    Taking the time to cook up a few snacking options before attending a party allows your loved one to contribute to the get-together in their own manner. This ensures they have nutritious options to eat during the event, while also allowing others to embark on the sugar-less holiday experience.
  • Avoid unnecessary stress
    This may seem like a difficult thing to accomplish, especially around the holidays. But stress can lead to stress-eating and stress-eating can lead to sugary setbacks. Remembering to exercise regularly throughout the holiday season and participate in active mindfulness techniques can be just the thing your loved one needs to enjoy the holidays and avoid sugary sweets.

These simple techniques can provide your loved one with a game plan that enables them to maintain their sobriety throughout the holiday season and avoid tempting holiday sweets.

How to Avoid Sugar Craving Moving Forward

The holidays can pose a very specific set of temptations for your loved one to overindulge on sugary treats, but maintaining that sugar abstinence throughout the rest of the year can be just as important.

That is why encouraging healthy lifestyle habits and a consistent daily routine is essential to avoiding unnecessary setbacks due to sugar consumption and unhealthy eating habits. This can be achieved by working with your loved one to construct a food chart consisting of daily options they can either purchase or, preferably, cook up themselves.

Approaching their nutritional health in this manner empowers your loved one to not only know what they are putting in their body, but also enables them to avoid sugary threats to their sobriety permanently.

Holistic Drug and Alcohol Addiction Treatment at Ranch Creek Recovery

The most important skills your loved one learned in addiction treatment is relapse prevention techniques. Now, in sobriety, continued relapse prevention education and practice is vital to truly sustain this new, clean way of life – even when it comes to a trigger like sugar consumption.

With the holidays upon us, from all of us at Ranch Creek Recovery, we wish you a safe and truly
wonderful holiday season. Always remind your loved one of how strong they are and how far they’ve come. Should your loved one find themselves in a situation where their substance of choice crept back into their life, they need to get back on track as soon as possible – and we’re here for them.

At Ranch Creek Recovery, we address addiction recovery and relapse prevention head on through our non-12-step, individualized, holistic addiction treatment programs. Our team of treatment experts will work one-on-one with your loved one to create a custom treatment and recovery plan that will help them feel confident and ready to re-enter their sober life.

Have questions? We’re here to help in any way we can. Contact us today.

CALL NOW: (877) 293-8607


1 Dr. Hyman. Top 10 Big Ideas: How to Detox from Sugar. Accessed November 6, 2019.