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Healthy Holiday Eating Tips – How to Have Fun and Not Gain Weight

Holiday Dieting Tips

The holidays are a special time for a lot of us.

Cherished family recipes are taken out, dusted off and delicious dishes are prepared with loving care and huge anticipation!

The holidays are a time you should get to enjoy.

And you should get to indulge yourself. In Moderation….

However, it is SO EASY to go overboard with calories and forget to keep your health in mind.

It begins with Halloween and all the extra treats that are lingering in your candy bowl.

Then we head into Thanksgiving, where on average folks eat more than 3 times the number of calories that they should be eating, or even more. Yikes!

Then the winter holidays come along.

Family togetherness usually equals lots of snacking and appetizers and big meals. Also, don’t forget all the baked treats!

So the big question is “Can you eat holiday treats and enjoy delicious holiday meals?”

The answer is yes, but in moderation.

Follow these tips to help you stay in control of your fork and your waistline:

1. Go in with a Plan.

Before you put yourself into temptation, tell yourself how much you’re allowed to eat. In the weeks following Halloween, get that leftover candy OUT of your house. Give it away to coworkers or neighbors.

For Thanksgiving and other family holidays, allow yourself to indulge a little bit of each of your favorite items. Sometimes all you need is a taste to enjoy it. Then if you are really still hungry after sampling your favorites – then go back and have a tiny bit more.

The problem for many of us is we put TOO MUCH food on our plate right from the start and we end up eating LOTS more than we planned to. And quite frankly, we probably end up eating some food that is NOT our favorite and we eat it just because we put it on our plate at the start.

So….start by being a sampler or a nibbler of your favorites….and then think about 2nds. And make sure you eat only what you REALLY have been craving of your holiday favorites.

2. Don’t Be Too Strict.

While you may be tough on yourself during other times of the year, the holidays are a time you should allow for some relaxation from the strict behavior.

Don’t try to get through entire evenings without enjoying any of the food. The starvation diet only works for so long until you fail and then totally over eat. Work on enjoying special foods in moderation instead.

3. Don’t Punish Yourself.

This is a biggie!

Listen, everyone makes mistakes.

If you do slip up and overeat one day, in the long run it won’t make much of a difference. Just tell yourself that you’ll try harder next time.

Whatever you do, don’t be tempted to just give up and continue the poor eating decisions. It’s when you have many bad days in a row that you can ruin a good diet plan.

4. Watch the Alcohol Intake.

It’s true; alcohol usually flows freely at holiday events.  While you may be able to get away with having a few drinks spread out over the evening, remember that the calories add up quick.

Consider alternating between alcoholic drinks and pure, refreshing water.

5. Wear Fitted Clothing

If you have some issues controlling your holiday behaviors, consider wearing some tighter fitting clothes. Don’t make yourself uncomfortable, but at the same time you’ll want to FEEL the reminder if you begin to eat too much.

It has been proven that when you wear bigger baggy stretchy clothes you tend to eat more – especially at holiday meals. So wear clothes that FIT you and you will be less likely to over indulge.

6. Plan Healthy Meals.

If you’re hosting any of the holiday events, consider going with some healthier alternatives to some popular meals. Healthy doesn’t equal bland or unappealing. Get creative and try some new recipes.

7. Remember to Take Breaks.

During a long evening with family and friends, it can be easy to lose control of your healthy eating habits.

Make it a point to take breaks where you don’t have food or a drink in your hand. Enjoy the great conversations you’re having instead. Enjoy the social aspect of the event – make that your focus instead of the food.

8. Eat Before You Go.

If you’re off to a holiday event at someone else’s house, eat something healthy before you leave.

Don’t show up at a party famished! Big mistake!

This is especially important if you know you’ll be tempted by all the unhealthy treats that’ll be available. If you aren’t particularly hungry when you show up, you be tempted to indulge the minute you arrive.

Bottom Line: Just remember to have a good time!

If you’re bummed about not getting to eat everything that you want, concentrate on all the other aspects of the holidays.

There are many other fun activities to engage in that don’t involve eating!

Like making snow angels, building snow men, going for walks with your family or friends before/after a meal, playing games with family and more!

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