The holiday season is here again. This means planning lots of parties and celebrations…and LOTS of eating. It will take some strong willpower to overcome the food temptations and diet challenges of the holiday season.
For the majority of us, it’s not easy to remain on track with our normal healthy diet this time of year. However, there are some tricks and tips that you can use to keep your diet on track this holiday season.
Tasty Trick #1—Mentally Plan for Parties
You can’t simply avoid going to parties during the holiday season, whether it’s for the office, family, or a friend inviting you over to have dinner and catch up. Prepare yourself mentally for the party and everything associated with that, which involves the liquor, food, and eating later than usual.
Before going to the party, be sure to have a healthy and filling meal so you are not as tempted to overindulge. With a full stomach, you are also less likely to drink too much alcohol.
Tasty Trick #2 – Know that Shopping Malls Can Be Diet Disasters
The holidays also usually mean that you will probably find yourself at a crowded mall or shopping center. Your shopping time may last for hours. You may even find yourself shopping during lunchtime or dinnertime, which can make it tempting to head over to the food court.
But you don’t have to buy anything at the food court. Instead, pack some snacks in a bag before you leave for your shopping trip, such as:
- Low fat pretzels
- Died fruit or fresh fruit
- Low-calorie snack bars
Tasty Trick #3 – Use Leftovers Wisely
With the holiday season comes leftovers. What are you going to do with those leftovers? Be creative and use them wisely and healthfully. You could use turkey to make a nutritious vegetable soup, or a turkey spinach salad. If you have leftover ham, use it to make an omelet or low fat ham and cheese sandwich on whole wheat bread.
Tasty Trick #4 – Remember Portion Control
Don’t eat everything on your plate. In fact, choose each item you put onto your plate carefully. Lean proteins should be chosen according to the size of your palm. Remember, even healthy food choices have calories, so make every choice count. If you want to indulge a little, plan that into your portions and calories for the entire day so you can avoid overeating.
Tasty Trick #5 – Eat Before You Go
Don’t arrive at the party and head straight for the buffet table. Instead, grab a bottle of water and mingle with the crowd, making conversation with some of the guests as you wait until mealtime rather than snacking. You will have time to get comfy with the setting, surveying the choices of food on the buffet before you dive in.
Tasty Trick #6 – Trick the Buffet
Whether it’s a buffet dinner or not, you should choose the smallest plate available. Limit your servings to the healthiest choices, and be sure to include more fruits and vegetables. Steer clear of dips and sauces; these are just empty, extra calories.
Tasty Trick #7 – Limit Alcohol
Limit your alcohol intake at holiday celebrations. Alcohol has a lot of empty calories. Plus, if you drink too much alcohol, it is likely that you won’t be in control of what you have to eat. If you feel uncomfortable or weird not having a drink in your hand, sip on some bottled water.
Tasty Trick #8 – Take Your Low Calorie Treats With You
If are invited to a holiday party, take your low calorie desserts with you. This will help you stay away from the fattening and tempting treats that are typical fare of the holiday festivities. Share your low calorie dessert with the guests. Many people will love the healthy alternative.
Don’t let the few weeks of the holiday season ruin a whole year’s worth of hard work and discipline when it comes to your eating habits. It can be tough, but using these tips and tricks can really help you stay on track with your diet during the holidays. Plus – not gaining holiday weight puts you on the path to starting the new year happy and healthy! Enjoy!