Warm holiday season greetings to all of you! Yes, it’s that time of year again, and in what has now become a holiday tradition, I’m re-posting a blog I did a few years ago that always gets a lot of comments and thanks from readers. It’s my own little recipe for maximizing holiday cheer—while minimizing holiday regrets. I hope you find it helpful reading. Happy Holidays!
Enjoying holiday cheer is good. Repeatedly saying “Cheers” and knocking back cocktails all night long—not so much. In addition to being loaded with lots of useless calories, alcohol often leads to lousy food choices (not to mention other questionable decisions). So, limit yourself to maybe one drink at the party or family gathering, and otherwise stick to low-cal soft drinks or sparkling or still water.
Choose what you eat carefully—and then savor the flavor. At parties or get-togethers, consider choosing only those foods that are special this time of year, and skip over the items you can have any old time. Make a point of taking in the look and aroma of your special choices before digging in. Then enjoy them slowly to maximize the experience. Doing so should give you big-time enjoyment with minimal caloric intake.
Don’t forget the stocking stomach stuffers. Yes, enjoy your seasonal favorites, but don’t throw all your good eating habits out the window this time of year. As you’re hitting the buffet table, remember to grab some of those vegetables that are probably sitting next to the dip and help yourself to whatever fruit might be available. Drink plenty of water too. Having these “stuffers” alongside your chosen special treats will help you feel fuller faster, leading to less overeating and weight gain.
Get enough ZZZ’s to balance out the Ho Ho Ho’s. During this hectic time, it’s key to get enough sleep. When you’re feeling run-down or tired, you might be tempted to grab some high-sugar or high-fat foods to try to give yourself an energy jolt. But the rushes that result are only temporary—the pounds hang around for considerably longer!
Give yourself the gift of understanding. The tips above should help you avoid gaining weight this holiday season, but don’t get too down on yourself if you slip up a time or two. Do your best, but acknowledge that this is just a challenging time of year for eating right. Enjoy the company of family and friends, the—perhaps—unexpected good humor of certain usually-world-weary workmates, and the sights and sounds of the season. After all, things will be back to normal all too soon.