We have all been there: your diet is going well. You’ve lost some weight and people are beginning to notice your success. Then, BAM! It’s the holiday season. There are large, indulgent meals looming in front of you. Of course, it’s not easy to manage, but we have assembled 5 tips to help your diet survive the holidays. Good luck!
1-Be sure to eat properly prior to a holiday meal.
On the big day, your first instinct may be to skip breakfast and lunch. Whether it’s because you are too busy preparing the big meal or just because you think you’re saving the calories for the main event, you’re not benefiting the bottom line by skipping normal meals. The only alteration you should make to your normal day is to eat a bit more lightly than usual. Skipping those meals may just backfire on you because you will be more likely to overeat when you finally sit down for the feast.
2-Smaller plates fool your brain into thinking you have more than you do.
Taking smaller amounts when serving up your favorite foods allows you to enjoy those things that make you happy without leaving you with the regret that comes with over eating. Remember, you can always go back for seconds if you didn’t get your fill of mashed potatoes, but if you have a smaller plate, your second helping can’t get too out of control.
Every other day of the year, you are in a hurry to get through dinner so you can make it to soccer practice, dance lessons or a meeting; today, there is no pressure to get anywhere. It’s the one day you can enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of your cooking. Take small bites and chew everything well. Rest your knife and fork on the plate between each bite and savor your (or someone else’s) hard work.
4-Take a walk after dinner.
Get away from the table and away from the pre-meal snacks most people put out to appease the guests ahead of the meal. If the weather permits, get outside and go for a walk to burn off some of those calories. Or you could plan to volunteer at a soup kitchen for the less fortunate. Not only would you be helping yourself by not grazing mindlessly over the leftovers, but also you would be lending a hand to someone in need.
5-Accept that this is a day of indulgence.
While you certainly don’t want to un-do all of your dieting hard work in one meal, you need to allow yourself to indulge in a few of your favorite things so you don’t walk away feeling deprived and resentful. Have a game plan going into dinner. If you set limitations for yourself, it should be easier to turn down the last piece of pie. You might even end up feeling thankful; after all, things go back to normal tomorrow.