With Thanksgiving not far behind us (as well as any holiday weight gain) and Christmas just around the corner, most of us are destined for Gluttony Road once again, even though we’ve vowed to not have a repeat of last year’s foodscapades. People have put food at the center of any and all social events for centuries, but it doesn’t have to be a time to fear. Here are a few tips for taming your taste buds and easing your mind this holiday season:
- DONT TRY TO LOSE WEIGHT DURING THE HOLIDAYS. AIM TO MAINTAIN: By trying to lose weight when constant exposure to treats and goodies is inevitable, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Working out most certainly isn’t going to be the first thing on your mind when you can be relaxing and visiting with friends and family. So, instead of stressing yourself out over not reaching any weight loss goals during the holidays, just try to prevent any further weight gain.
- DON’T COMPLETELY DEPRIVE YOURSELF OF CERTAIN FOODS: This is another great way to set yourself up for failure. In trying to entirely resist Aunt Martha’s famous apple crisp pie she makes every year, you’ll be kicking yourself later for either eating the same amount of calories (if not more) in other foods to take your mind off of the pie, or for eventually breaking down and eating half the pie. Don’t create stress for yourself–just be reasonable. Allow yourself to have that slice or even just a slightly smaller slice than usual. It won’t kill…I promise.
- TREAT HOLIDAY MEAL TIME LIKE ANY OTHER TIME: Granted, the types of foods that will be available during the holidays are probably much less healthier than what you’re used to eating, but just think it through a little bit. You’ll probably be surrounded by nothing but calories, so aim for smaller portions of everything or have a little more salad and a fewer buttery mashed potatoes; have only one glass of wine instead of two or three; reach for the smaller, bite-sized desserts instead of several pieces of cakes or pies, skip the crackers and cheese and try some veggies with low-fat dip. If you’re really concerned about not having much of anything “healthy” to eat, you can always offer to bring something to the party such as a veggie platter.
- LISTEN TO YOUR STOMACH…NOT YOUR TASTE BUDS: Just take a second before you reach for another plate-full of food and ask yourself, “Is my stomach needing more food, or are my taste buds tricking me into thinking I’m hungry??” This definitely takes some practice, and isn’t always easy to do, but it’s definitely worth it in the long run. And if you feel like you’re having a hard time resisting those urges from your taste buds, refer to tips #2 and 3 above 🙂