There will be cake. Pie. Butter-loaded mashed potatoes. Juicy ham (or Tofurky). Cheese and crackers. Wine. And then all of the free holiday food at work. Holiday parties. Times when you feel, “oh what the hell, it’s the holidays!” Holiday eating cravings will be there, but you have a choice. Will you be like the average American who gains a pound during the holiday season (and never loses it)? Or will you be different?
A colleague recently asked me if it’s ok to indulge on the holidays. I replied, it’s probably fine – as long as you remember that there are only 3 real holi”days”: Thanksgiving, Hanukkah/Christmas/Kwanzaa and New Years’. *Note: I’m assuming Hanukkah isn’t being celebrated with a doughnut-laden party every night.
We run into problems when we extend those three days to the other 30 to 35 days remaining in the year. Over the past week I’ve collected three great resources that can help you curb holiday eating cravings during those other 30+ days, enjoy!
1. A brief 2 minute video I made for Hospital for Special Surgery about Tips for Enjoying Holiday Foods without Sabotaging Your Health
2. An article I wrote for Food Network’s Healthy Eats blog on Three Ways to Tame Your Sweet Tooth
3. From Mercola.com: Six Simple Tips to Help Prevent Holiday Weight Gain. While some of the recommendations are a little unusual, I really like the ideas of:
- Keeping a proactive food diary – Writing what you will eat each day rather than what you just ate. In effect, you’re planning.
- Staying active – Exercise can regulate appetite for some people and it’s hard to be eating when you’re exercising.
- Eating when you’re hungry – Rather than restricting yourself before or after a big holiday meal and throwing your eating habits and hormones out of whack, stay steady. In other words, don’t skip your usual healthy breakfast and lunch in anticipation of a holiday dinner. The foods at the holiday dinner are likely much more calorie dense, so if you gorge, you’re probably going to end up eating more than if you just had breakfast and lunch as usual.
A couple indulgent meals will not throw off 10 to 11 months of healthy habits – unless you let those meals extend into the rest of the month. It’s your choice – be happy, be healthy!
P.S. If you have any additional tips that have worked for you during the holidays, please share so you can help the other readers of Death of the Diet!