Sugar season is near. Are you ready to stay on track?

Summer is long gone and October is here. For many of us, that means the season for regularly having easy access to lots of sugary snacks. If you have a sweet tooth, it can be really challenging to stay on track and resist the sweets because once you start it can be really hard to stop.

Here are some tips to avoid the sugary snacks.

Be prepared. Have healthy snacks handy like sliced vegetables and fruit. Try a healthy alternative, like apples slices with no-sugar-added peanut/almond butter and honey or grapes with almonds.

Eat every 2 – 3 hours. Make sure you’re eating low-glycemic meals with healthy snacks in between so that you’re eating every 2 – 3 hours to allow your blood sugar levels to stay steady. If your blood sugar drops too low, sometimes called being “hangry”, your body will need quick energy and that’s when good food choices go out the window.

Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water to help you feel satisfied and give your body what it needs, so you don’t crave stuff you don’t.

Use your mental muscle.

Out of sight, out of mind. If you think you might be tempted to dig in, store the sweet stuff away in a bin or other area out of sight and then get busy doing something else. Occupy yourself  with something that’ll help you forget about your craving: play your favorite high-energy playlist, listen to an engrossing podcast, call your best friend…you get the idea.

Visualize success. Picture yourself absolutely, perfectly fine with your healthy snacks and strong posture. Or picture yourself eating a small amount of whatever it is you crave, enjoying it, eating it mindfully, and being done.

Exercise. Stay active during this time of year. Studies show that even a 15-minute walk can help curb sugar cravings, so get moving. Find an activity you enjoy. Some suggestions: dance (alone or with a partner; with or without music), walk, run, swim, fence, practice yoga, calisthenics, etc.

De-stress. Stress can trigger all kinds of negative stuff. Sugar cravings are one of them. Recognize the stress trigger and take a few deep breaths, stretch, take a walk – something besides a sugar fix to calm you down and get you out of that high stress state.

Stay strong and well through the season and enjoy all the great things it brings without letting sugar get the best of you.