No getting around it, the holidays are a time of indulgence.
With so many yummy seasonal coffee drinks, alluring libations, delicious office treats, and decadent feasts is it even remotely possible to make it through without gaining a ton a weight?
We say yes!
It is possible to eat in alignment with your healthy lifestyle goals WITHOUT feeling deprived…
Your success requires awareness, commitment, flexibility and action.
To support your mission to sustain a lighter brighter life, we’ve assembled 18 great tips and tactics for realistically navigating your way:
1. Don’t go out the door hungry. Eat something before you head out.
2. Identify a buddy. Encouragement and accountability is easier with a friend. Your partner in health can be someone who is at the party. Or a friend with similar goals that you can text when you’re tempted and require a little support. Celebrate each other’s victories and have fun with it!
3. Chew slowly. Savor your food by taking your time eating.
4. Offer to be designated driver. Gain friend points and reduce calorie intake. If you’re not loving this option we get that. Proceed to number five…
5. Choose a light beverage. Skip that sugar filled spiced rum and eggnog! Or, if you waited all year for that coveted eggnog, have half a glass so you don’t feel deprived.
6. Stay hydrated. It’s good for your body and it will help you feel full.
7. Watch portions. Use a small plate when possible, sounds silly but it helps.
8. Socialize. Seize the moment to connect with others more than you snack. Talk, laugh, network, make new friends. Fill yourself up with interaction.
9. Choose protein. It’s an eating choice you can feel good about.
10. Eat the veggies! This too is good form. You don’t have to only eat the veggies. Use them to care for your body and as a tactic to fill up.
11. Try fruit for dessert. When possible, get your sweet fix from natural sources. Choose the fruit! If this option makes you sad, proceed to number twelve!
12. Taste Test. Identify your favorite items at the events you attend, then have a taste instead of a full portion. Deprivation is depressing. Identify tactics that let you sample without getting too far off track.
13. Wait 10 minutes before seconds. Let the food you’ve eaten settle and expand before diving in again.
14. Chew gum. It will help you resist nibbling.
15. Bring something healthy. If it’s a potluck, bring something from your healthy eating list you know and love.
16. Boldly say “no thank you.” Lead by example… when you’re full just say no thank you to those seconds or that rich dessert. Don’t fall for peer pressure or be guilted into a sample. You’ve got this!
17. Use affirmations. Write affirmations on sticky notes and post them where you can see them. “I eat light to stay light.” “I choose health.” “I am strong. I am determined. I make healthy choices.” Put one in your car, on the bathroom mirror, on your wallet. Get creative!
18. Be gentle with yourself. It IS the holiday season. You will be tempted and, it’s reasonable to enjoy the culinary delights that cross your path. It’s okay.
While you are enjoying the festivities, test drive the tactics that make sense to you and let go of those that don’t. Use this opportunity to explore and practice what works best for you.
Give yourself permission to have fun. Enjoy the journey friends. We believe in you and we’re cheering you on!
CURA Director of Nutrition-Christi Bowling, MS, RDN, CSSD, LD is a Masters Level Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with 12 years of experience in corporate wellness, medical nutrition therapy and sports nutrition. She is certified in both Sports Dietetics, and Adult Weight Management.