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Surviving the Holidays - Part 1 - All The Food

The end of the year is fast approaching and with that comes numerous celebrations with family and friends, usually involving elaborate meals. And by meals, I mean feasts. Delicious hors d'oeuvres, drinks, entrees, sides, desserts, and desserts. And desserts.

Many of us are hesitant to head into the holidays dreading the extra pounds we’ll be carrying by January 1st. It’s no easy task to refuse the delectable treats that seem to be everywhere.

So, while we can’t necessarily control the amount of food we will be offered in the coming weeks, we can think about ways to enjoy ourselves while not succumbing to overindulgence time and time again. I don’t know about you, but I absolutely hate the way I feel after gorging myself on a fabulous meal. Not to mention the guilt that comes with the lack of self control I presented.

Here are a few tips for you to keep in mind. You’ve probably heard them before, but that doesn’t mean they are easy to do, especially in the moment. Reread this when you're heading to your next event so you are prepared to make good choices.

During mealtime:

  • Don’t show up starving. You’ll eat too fast, too much and feel awful afterward.

  • Scoop small portions onto your plate, especially if there are numerous options.

  • Take notice of your plate size. It can be hard to gauge a normal size portion when eating on an over-sized plate.

  • Slow down. Enjoy each bite.

  • Engage in conversations with those around you, but don’t mindlessly eat while you chat.

  • If you don’t like something on your plate, don’t eat the rest of it.

  • Do you really need seconds? How about taking a plate home to enjoy the next day?

  • Take tiny portions of desserts, even a few bites are satisfying.

  • Drink water in abundance. Enjoy other drinks in moderation.

  • If you’re already feeling full and you’re still eating...well, you know.

Over the weeks:

  • Burn off some extra calories with exercise. Add an extra workout day or add extra minutes to your workout. Walk your stairs for 10 minutes, or take a class with me!

  • Enjoy a cookie or two and walk away. Put them away. Out of sight, out of mind.

  • Bring a healthy option to your social gatherings. It doesn’t have to be a veggie tray, be creative.

  • Don’t take home leftover dessert or food that is not good for you. Just say “no, thanks”.

  • If you were gifted a dessert or cookie tray, consider putting half in the freezer. I’ve done this with many things. It’s awesome, because you get to enjoy it again later.

  • Instead of gifting desserts, think about other unique gifts. Homemade bread or wholesome muffins are a great gift. Try substituting some white whole wheat flour in your recipes. That is my flour of choice for all things.

  • You can eat treats, just be intentional about what and how much you choose. Then enjoy them, guilt free.

  • If you slip up, release the guilt and move on.

Remember, you are in control of what you eat. When you feel in control, it is incredibly empowering. Use that power to make better eating choices this time around. You will feel so proud when you overcome some of your toughest obstacles this season!

Do you use any other strategies to make better food choices? Post in the comments, I would love to hear from you!

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