1. Drink your water. Have you hit your 64-128 ounces of non-caloric fluids? Remember, hunger and thirst signals can feel the same, so drink first then eat.
2. Never arrive at a holiday party, luncheon or dinner with an empty stomach. We know to apply this when grocery shopping, and social events should be no different.
3. Pack your food for the busy day ahead, considering the storage you’ll have and when you’ll need it. Always have your back up “healthy snack stash” either at work or in the car, just in case.
4. Fill up on protein and veggies first. There will always be snacks you will want to taste and sometimes having a bite helps eliminate a craving. Just remember the “two bite rule.” After two bites, be done. If you are still hungry, have seconds of something nutritious.
5. You MUST establish an exercise regimen during the holidays. Whatever that regimen, it also should be more challenging than your current activity. It is virtually impossible to be social during the holidays and maintain your weight without additional caloric output.
6. Take your own side dish or snack to a social gathering if appropriate. Not only will you relieve some stress knowing you have something to eat, you will also look like a gracious guest with a contribution!
7. Keep talking. The more conversation and fellowship you can involve yourself in, the less you will obsess about that brownie on the buffet table. The party is about your friends not the food.
8. Know yourself. Eliminate the temptation by walking away or not having that PARTICULAR FOOD in the house. You know the one. Don’t live in denial that this time will be different. Allow your environment to strengthen your willpower rather than challenge it.
9. Eat to live. Food is intended to nourish, strengthen and repair you. Ask yourself: “How nourishing is that ___________? How will it make me feel?” If you still want it, go ahead but practice self-awareness with your cravings.
10. Prepare to slip up. Know that you will most likely have something high sugar, high fat, and downright not good for you at some point. Afterwards, move on (and not tomorrow) right now. Don’t let the single slip-p turn into an entire weekend…or worse, an entire holiday season!
About Our Author
Jill Unterbug is a nutritionist and a Certified Functional Medicine Health Coach. She graduated from Texas A&M University with a bachelor’s degree in Nutritional Science with a focus in Dietetics. Her passion is helping clients and their families achieve their health goals through establishing a foundation in healthy habits.