Holiday eating is a bittersweet kind of thing. Let’s make the best of it with these 3 Holiday eating tips! First off, what is your approach to Holiday eating? Do you go in with an attitude of “It’s the Holidays I’m diving in!” or are you, “It’s the Holiday, time to deprive myself if I want to keep my figure.” Let me help you enjoy holiday eating without deprivation or gorge. Learn my three essential tactics to eliminate the haunt of guilt and to enjoy all your holiday foods.
Is this your holiday eating?
You’re at a holiday party, you made a promise to yourself that you were NOT going to eat very much. You said, “I will not eat the spinach dip; it’s too high in calories.” But after a couple of drinks and peer pressure… come on, you know peer pressure still exists out of high school…temptation wins. However! You’re not headed for the spinach dip; instead, you are headfirst in the hot chicky dip. Before you know it you’re laying on your bed, bloated, asking yourself what just happened.
Friend, you were just deceived by hot chicky dip and you let the opponent kick a field goal. To make holiday eating work for you without depriving yourself of holiday goodness and traditions…not to mention less aggressive New Year Resolutions…you must have a strategy!
Holiday eating a game?
Think of holiday eating as a game. When preparing for any sporting event, yes I just called holiday eating a sporting event, there are a few things serious athletes do to strengthen their game.
1 – They study their opponent, learn its schemes, and beat it at its own game.
2 – They condition for the game. You can’t just run a marathon without training. If you did, you’d burn out a lot faster and have cramping, even injury.
3 – They have a plan, a strategy, to lead them to victory!
My food shame.
I remember one Christmas when I constantly ate. Seriously! I grazed all day long, so much so, my Uncle said to me, “You’re still eating?” I looked at him as if I got busted with my hand in the cookie jar. Yep, it’s been almost 30 years since then and that comment apparently scarred me.
At the time of this event, I was overweight and stuffing my emotions, not a good time in my life. “If I just have one more handful of Chex Mix…the kind with peanuts and M&M’s…that should complete my feast.” Ha ha ha! I crack myself up like that’s going to happen. The tricky thing about holiday parties is that there is food lying around everywhere! Not just celery sticks and fruit kabobs, but hot chicky dip, Chex Mix, cookies, buckeyes, peanut brittle, and cocktail weenies! Temptation constantly surrounds our senses. What are we to do?
Holiday eating Tip #1: Study your opponent.
Your opponent in holiday eating isn’t the spread of delicious dishes. It’s your mind! Your opponent is how you think about food and how that thinking trumps your holiday goals. It’s that space between choice and outcome. Do you want to go into the holidays the same size you come out of it? Do you want to lose weight, gain weight, or just don’t give a rip about your weight? If you don’t care, okay. But if you do care, you will win this game and feel great physically and mentally!
You have a couple of advantages right from the start. The first is that you know your habits. You know what happens when you have a cocktail in your hand or when you get around certain people. Pay attention to what your other hand is doing…reaching for the 7-layer bars?
The second advantage is that you know your weaknesses. When you walk into the kitchen and see the spinach dip, you know you’ll submit. Hence, spinach dip is your weakness. However, the trick is to weigh your choice. You know that spinach dip has cream cheese in it, a high-calorie ingredient; so you tell yourself you’re going to avoid the spinach dip tonight. So, what are you going to replace it with? You decide to choose the hot chicky dip, after all, you heard spicy foods help you lose weight. So you went to town on it. But wait! Unbeknown to you, hot chicky dip has cream cheese in it too. You just ate 10 times more calories eating hot chicky dip to fill the void of the spinach dip…you gained nothing but weight in that choice.
With this Holiday eating tip, you must know yourself, understand your triggers, and be prepared. Research healthy dips or other appetizers in advance of going to a holiday party. If any dip looks creamy or white in color it likely has cream cheese or sour cream in it. This isn’t just a great calorie indicator, but if you’re sensitive to dairy a party full of people isn’t the place to indulge…if you know what I mean.
Holiday eating tip #2: Train for the game.
No, no, no. I know what you’re thinking. You are not going to train as those completive eaters do. This kind of training involves self-control and understanding what treats are good choices for your particular goal. I’m assuming you want to make smart choices that aren’t going to make you gain weight.
With that said, do not deprive yourself! The more you deprive, the more you will eat something else to fill that hankering. I talked about this in tactic #1. Make a promise to yourself that you will not overindulge. I didn’t say ‘not have any’, I said to not eat more than you should.
To answer that first question, my Holiday eating tip is to put a limit to only having three cracker-fulls of spinach dip. And to eat them SLOW! Enjoy the flavors, just don’t stuff it down. This tip is for those high-calorie apps. Limit the number you have then walk away.
Let me answer the second question for you. Is it worth having two? Five? Ten? NO! It’s not worth eating more. Save those extra calories for another glass of wine or some hot chicky dip. Think portion control.
For the third question, “How are you going to feel after you eat it?” That’s an easy question to answer if you have dietary restrictions. Are you going to feel guilty, defeated, or depressed? What about gassy, bloated, or rumbled with cramps? Again, if you were to ask me, it’s not worth any of those.
Tip #3: Have a plan.
You’ve probably heard that eating protein and drinking water before you go to a party helps you to not overeat at the gathering. Well, it’s true! Have a bottle of water while you’re getting dolled up. And before you head out the door roll up a few slices of turkey or eat some grilled chicken. Stick to protein. No carbs. You’ll get plenty of those at the party.
Holiday eating goodness.
Okay, that does it for going to a holiday party, but what if you don’t do parties and you just want to get through the holidays feeling great and staying healthy? Good question. This approach starts at least two weeks beforehand. If you can get more weeks under your belt it would be better.
To go with the ‘feeling great and staying healthy’ path, my #1 tip is to create a meal plan and stick to it. Know ahead of time what you’re going to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And know what to snack on. Have those healthy snacks in the house so you don’t panic and eat anything you can find. I created a meal plan for you to get ideas off of. You can download it here.
You’ll notice my meal plan isn’t filled with carbs, or dairy products, let alone sugar. It’s simple, filled with nutrients, and clean options. This will help rid your body of toxins and put your cravings in check. And always drink lots of water.
Holiday eating doesn’t need to be a curse or a five-pound tradition. By understanding yourself, using portion control, and having a plan you’ll experience a guilt-free holiday season that will catapult you into a fantastic start to the New Year! I hope these essential Holiday eating tips help you feel fantastic.
By CT Copyright © 2020 Simplify Firefly. All Rights Reserved.