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Study Finds Most Americans Are Affected by Holiday Cravings

Thursday Oct 11, 2018
Study Finds Most Americans Are Affected by Holiday Cravings
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As we approach the holiday season many a willpower will be tempted and 'cravings guilt' is set to sweep the nation according to new research.

A new study of 2,000 Americans into their holiday eating and willpower found that 75 percent of Americans experience "cravings guilt" over the holidays after giving into their favorite foods.

Fifty-eight percent of those studied say cravings guilt actually dampens their holiday spirit. While 81 percent do consider themselves to be health-conscious eaters, that all goes out the window when the holidays approach despite people's best intentions.

The new survey, conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Quest Nutrition, found that holiday cravings are indeed very real and that nearly all of us (97 percent) give in to those cravings at least once over the season.

In fact, one in four (26 percent) will give in to those holiday cravings every time an opportunity presents itself.
Resisting tempting foods and treats over the holidays can be quite a difficult task, with 57 percent saying they do give it a fair effort. But, according to the results, the average American will give in to their cravings after just 17 minutes of resistance — not even long enough to make it all the way through "A Charlie Brown Christmas."

According to the study, 87 percent of Americans say they experience more food cravings over the holidays than any other time of year, and another 46 percent say their willpower to resist those cravings is lower, as well.
So which holiday foods lead us to temptation the most?

Chocolate chip cookies were listed as the biggest holiday temptation (44 percent), followed very closely by that delicious dessert, pumpkin pie (41 percent). Savory foods had their place on this list too, with mashed potatoes coming in third place (39 percent), and turkey (36 percent) following close behind.

But given that many of these beloved holiday favorites are high carb or have tons of sugar, most respondents (64 percent) said they wish there were healthier food options to enjoy at holiday parties.

"At Quest we celebrate cravings rather than feeling guilty about them by making the foods you crave work for you not against you," Said Suzanne Ginestro, Chief Marketing Officer at Quest Nutrition. "That's why we're launching four new indulgent foods that will satisfy your sweet tooth, yet are true to Quest's metabolic promise of low net carb, high protein, and low sugar foods. This holiday you can bite into our Pumpkin Pie and Peppermint Bark Quest bars or our Snickerdoodle and Gingerbread Protein Cookies and still stay true to your health goals."

Secret snacking is a holiday tradition as old as time, and the average American sneaks in eight snacks over the holidays, according to the results. There are many opportunities to do so, as well, with 32 percent say they'll sneak in a bite while they're helping clean up.

Another 29 percent say they'll snack a bit once everyone has gone to bed, and nearly one in five (19 percent) say they'll snack right in front of the open fridge.

The study also asked respondents to share their funniest memory of sneaking holiday foods.

"Chocolate covered cookies melted in my pockets. I was wearing a white dress. People laughed so hard - it was priceless," said one respondent.

"I was sneaking some cookies off a tray and nobody was looking — but the tray fell and everyone turned around and there was a cookie halfway sticking out of my mouth," said another.

But no matter how or if you indulge in your cravings over the holidays, one thing the respondents roundly agreed on (75 percent) is that giving into your cravings simply makes the holidays more fun.

TOP 5 MOST TEMPTING SWEET HOLIDAY FOODS
Chocolate chip cookies 44%
Pumpkin pie 41%
Brownies 37%
Apple pie 33%
Ice cream 31%

TOP 5 MOST TEMPTING SAVORY HOLIDAY FOODS
Mashed potatoes 39%
Turkey 36%
Stuffing 31%
Rolls 31%
Mac n cheese 31%

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