Festive seasons are times for celebration. But behind a cheerful layer of sharing, prosperity, forgiveness, or any other flavour of the period – lies a universal problem synonymous with any festivity – an uncontrollable temptation to stuff ourselves full with seasonal treats!
With the odds stacked against you – after all, who can say no to mom’s cooking – you may think your only option is to either throw in the towel and eat yourself silly or starve yourself and survive exclusively on water. Instead of such drastic measures, let’s meet in the middle.
You can still enjoy yourself without blowing your healthy diet with the right attitude. It's fine to occasionally treat yourself and even cut down on exercise if you need to, but you'll enjoy yourself more if you don't eat yourself into a coma and completely ditch your workout routine.
Don't give in to the buffet table’s sweet charms! To deal with the temptation of calorie-laden party foods, first give yourself free reign to choose from everything on spread. When you restrict certain foods, you may find yourself fixated on them and that ultimately leads to overindulgence. Allowing plenty of options will help you make intelligent choices about what you'll actually eat, thus freeing you from worry, guilt and extra pounds. Here are some useful strategies to avoid getting sucked into a holiday eating frenzy:
- Eat something before the party so you're not starving.
- Give yourself time in between helpings to allow food to settle in your stomach.
- Have some water before you dig in.
- Decide what and how much you'll have before you fill your plate.
- Pick a smaller plate (if it’s available) for your buffet, instead of the regular large, dinner plate.
- Choose food you can only get this time of year and not gorge on food available all-year-round like potato chips.
- Avoid liquid calories by limiting the number of sweetened soft drinks, syrup and alcoholic drinks you have and by drinking a big glass of plain water between drinks.
- Enjoy every bite knowing you indulged yourself without going overboard.
The trick to making it through the holidays without guilt is to ALWAYS be in control. Be conscious of your eating and exercise choices. Everything you do is always a choice – even if it doesn't feel that way – so knowing the consequences of your decisions will help you enjoy the holiday season. For example, if you do end up eating more and exercising less, know that you'll probably gain a little weight. If you know to expect that, you'll be ready to deal with those pesky pounds you gain when the party's over.