Enjoy Holiday Food, Even on a Diet!

Enjoy Holiday Food, Even on a Diet!

An edible rainbow of nummy fruits and vegetablesSee that gorgeous rainbow of food? Fruits and vegetables are beautiful, and super healthy for you! Eating healthily doesn’t mean eating bland, boring, or tasteless food. And the same goes for the holidays: you can enjoy holiday treats without gaining 10 pounds between now and January 1st! But first, you have to make a decision. You have three options:

  1. Stick to your diet, no matter what!
  2. Forget all about your diet and eat exactly what I want, when I want.
  3. Maintain your diet with a few special holiday exceptions.

Option 1 is great if you have fantastic willpower, or if you know that deviating from your diet will cause you to feel bad or get sick. More power to you! Just be sure to give yourself grace if you slip up. No one’s perfect.

Option 2 is definitely the easiest option. If you aren’t concerned about weight gain, go for it. The average gain is 7-10 pounds, which you can easily take off again in the winter or spring. But really OWN your decision: embrace the fact that your clothes will be a little tighter by January, and don’t beat yourself up. Be proud of your weight gain and enjoy your decision. (NOTE: if a doctor wants you to lose weight, this is probably not a good option for you).

Option 3 is my personal favorite. You’re going to continue eating your normal diet. This will help deal with the emotions and late nights because you’re feeding your body good healthy food. However, give yourself some exceptions so you can have some treats and feasts. Here are my suggestions:

  • Enjoy the major holiday feasts (Thanksgiving, etc.).
  • Add 2 – 4 brisk 30 minute walks to your week to burn extra calories.
  • Buy some pretty containers and send leftovers home with the guests, especially alcohol and desserts.
  • Only eat homemade items (if you’re going to consume the calories, honor the hostess by eating what she cooked – plus homemade food is almost ALWAYS better than store bought).
  • Drink mint tea or chew mint gum before any party – mint will suppress your appetite.
  • If there’s a veggie platter, fill up your plate with that first, and go back whenever you get the “munchies.” Save the desserts for mindful eating.

So, do you have any favorite tips or tricks for navigating the holiday feasts?

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