A holiday diet can almost seem like an oxymoron. Who can diet during the holidays? You can stay on track with some tips and tricks to get you through the holidays without gaining back your hard lost pounds, and without feeling completely deprived.
Set Realistic Goals
The reality is if you tell yourself you’re going to stick to your rigid “eat healthy or go home” attitude, you’re going to blow it right out of the water. The temptation will be at the parties you attend. If you bake for others, it will stare at you from your kitchen counter, and with the holidays as hectic as they are, there will be eating out. The key is to cut yourself a little slack and make the best choices you can in each situation.
Everything in Moderation
As you’re already practicing your healthy eating, don’t ban foods, just keep them in moderation. Eat great all day and you can have a tiny slice of Grandma’s famous cheesecake. You can go for the light desserts to and have that scoop of baked beans. However you split it, the key is to enjoy “sometimes” foods in moderation.
Carry a Pack of Gum
A piece of gum can curb a sugar craving in a matter of minutes. It also distracts your mouth so you don’t eat. When you carry a pack of your favorite gum you are always prepared to fight off a craving. Plus, fresh breath at any gathering is a good thing.
Ask for Support
You don’t have to face the buffet table alone. Talk to your friends and family and tell them how great you’ve been doing and working toward meeting your goals. Ask them to ditch a cocktail or two with you or make a healthy addition to bring. You’d be surprised how responsive family can be when you make a couple of good healthy suggestions.
Put Down the Margarita
Cocktails, champagne and cider, oh my! The holidays seem to bring on extra blenders, shakers and inevitably, calories. Even a light version of a cocktail can pack in a 150 calories per glass. Times that by the potential two to three cocktails and you have 300-450 calories, without even visiting the buffet table. Stick to ginger ale, water or flavored soda water for a little bubbly.
Watch Your Portions
You’re likely watching your portions anyway, but it can be easy to wander through the buffet table just to get to the end and see you’re plate matches Great Uncle Carl’s. You don’t want to be seen throwing food away, so you end up eating it. This is terrible for your body and your guilt. Instead, stick with a normal portion size. Use a salad or dessert plate to make it a bit easier. You’ll have a full plate that’s not loaded with extra calories.
Eat Before Parties
This sounds a bit counter intuitive, but the idea is to have a small healthy snack before you go out to avoid eating all the high-fat baked goods, casseroles, appetizers and more. When you’re about half full when you get there and use the tips above, you can still enjoy the food without enjoying the extra calories.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask
There are clever ways to ask what’s in the food being served. You can ask the host for the recipe and take a peek. You can be completely impressed (and you probably are) and ask how it was prepared. However you ask, go ahead, and then you’ll know which foods to avoid and which are okay.
Follow Your Exercise Routine
You’re busy during the holidays and it can take a toll on your personal time, but this is the time you need to stick with your plan and put yourself first. Stick with your exercise routine or even beef it up if you’re worried about gaining during the holidays. Make sure you get out for that walk or run, cycle with a friend, or hit the gym or your favorite fitness class. However you break a sweat, keep doing it; not only will you avoid the dreaded holiday pounds, but you’ll leave the holiday stress on the gym floor too.
You can get through the holiday season without punishing yourself and while still staying on track for your weight loss plan. Don’t stress about all the food that will surround you; instead have fun during the holidays, like you should be. Use these tips and tricks, and you’ll forget your on a diet and toss the guilt aside.