How to Stick to Your Diet During the Holidays
The Christmas Season is by far one of the hardest times to start or stick to a healthy eating plan. Parties and get-togethers regularly expose you to deliciously fatty food, and not partaking in the celebration can be seen as the marker of a major grinch. But you don’t have to skip dinner to stick to your diet, neither do you have to stand by the untouched veggie platter to feel good about yourself. These are some of our favorite tips and tricks for making it through the holiday months without putting on an extra 20 pounds.
Skip the PSL every once in a while and go with water instead. Making sure your body stays hydrated is not only important for keeping everything running smoothly, it also helps manage calorie intake by keeping you full longer. Your body’s “dehydrated” feeling can often feel pretty similar to its “I need food” feeling. Learn to recognize the difference. Before you pick up another muffin, drink a glass of water and see if that makes a difference.
Don’t Show Up Hungry
Thanksgiving and Christmas are the only days in the year that we widely accept the idea that it’s okay to starve yourself in order to “make room” for dinner. Spoiler: it doesn’t work that way. First, your body goes into starvation mode and starts holding onto fat if you don’t eat. Second, it only makes you more likely to snack on hors d’oeuvres and then gorge yourself on the turkey dinner. Summed up: eating regular meals is really important to staying on top of your eating habits.
Don’t give yourself a reason to stop and pick up take-out or fill up with another latte. When you know you’re going to be out all day — like when you’re trying to track down the perfect Christmas gift — bring some fuel with you to hold you over. And we’re not talking apples and granola bars; if you have to pack a whole lunch to eat on the go, do it.
Use a Smaller Plate
Research shows time and time again that the amount you eat depends largely on the size of your plate. Instead of getting those jumbo paper plates that are specifically made for the holiday season, grab a smaller one and fill ‘er up. Not only are you less likely to gorge yourself, but you also won’t feel like you’re missing out on anything because your plate will still be mounded with food.
Live a Little
Don’t be such a strict eater that you won’t allow yourself to indulge. Yes, eating healthy is important. But the point of eating better is to give yourself more freedom in life. If you’ve eaten well all week, there’s no harm in grabbing an extra scoop of mashed potatoes or indulging yourself in a small slice of pumpkin pie. You’ve worked hard — reward yourself.
- Lifestyle Staff