The holidays can be a wonderful time of quality conversations and laughs with family and friends, but it can also be a time of having to constantly fight the urge to dig into the holiday treats. Or worse yet, avoiding those get-togethers entirely in order to keep away from the treats.
Here are 6 ways to fight those cravings and make your holidays a little more enjoyable:
1. Eat before you go.
If you know there’s going to be some temptations you might later regret, eat a meal before hand so your hunger doesn’t effect your thinking. Even if you’re going to a dinner party, you can have a nice snack with something fatty like a nut butter with apple slices or oil-based dressing and avocado on a salad to curb hunger pangs and help you fill your plate with healthier options when you arrive.
2. Use the two-bite rule.
You don’t want to seem rude or uppity to your host, so unless you have a true allergy or extreme sensitivity go ahead and enjoy a couple bites of that cheesy casserole or sweet bread. You can still still tell the cook how great it tastes without demonstrating it with a huge serving.
3. Start with veggies.
When you’re filling your plate, start with vegetables, move on to protein, and add a small amount of whatever’s left to that little space left on your plate.
4. Bring a healthy dish to share.
If appropriate, bring something you love that you know nourishes your body to share with the group. The host will likely appreciate the contribution and you know you are sure to have something you can feel good about eating.
5. Choose your surroundings.
If you’re chatting with a co-worker by the dessert buffet, you’re going to be more likely to grab a cookie. If you’re sitting at the table in front of the dinner rolls, you will be more likely to nibble on an extra. Position yourself by the veggie tray so if you want a nibble, it will be a healthy one.
6. Be forgiving.
If you slip up and eat that whole slice of cake instead of the couple bites you were planning on, don’t beat yourself up over it. Just take the opportunity to notice how it makes you feel, and allow yourself to enjoy it. And, whatever you do, do not use the slip-up as an excuse to throw your whole diet plan out the window for the night. If you’re gluten-free and you already had that cake, telling yourself, “well I might as well have some of those rolls now too” doesn’t do you any favors.
Overall, try not to focus too much on food. In my opinion, the best part of the holidays is time with the people I love. So, if that means I need to do a bit more planning to make sure I don’t end the day with a stomach ache, it’s worth it.