Holiday Season Strategy

Eat, Drink & Be Mindful


Everywhere you go there are delicious holiday treats and drinks to tempt your fancy. You thought Thanksgiving was bad but then there was Christmas and now New Year’s Eve is upon us.  Hopefully you haven’t already given yourself permission to eat whatever you want with the excuse you’ll make a New Year’s resolution to eat better. Try to stop the insanity. Packing on extra pounds right now only makes it harder to reach your goals by giving you a bigger jumping off point. And the reward for feeling good about yourself is far sweeter than the short-lived sugar rush!


So now that you’ve resolved not to let any NYE parties you’re going to get out of control, now what? Well, you’ve probably guessed it – arm yourself with some tips to keep in mind as you navigate the maze of temptations that lie ahead. FamilyCircle’s food and registered dietician has five of them to keep you on track.1


1. Prioritize

If you look forward to the cookies your coworker bakes once a year, by all means, blow your calories on them. It’s about making conscious choices, not mindlessly munching.


2. Focus

Have you ever had a full plate of food in front of you, only to look down a few minutes later to find it gone? In all likelihood, you ate while you were talking to someone or doing something else, like watching TV, which leads to overeating. So try to really concentrate. Appreciate how the food looks before you put it in your mouth. Take the time to chew every bite. Identify the flavors and textures. Stop and savor between bites. You will eat less without feeling deprived.

3. Sleep

Proper zzz’s are a key factor in weight management, yet holiday obligations often stand in the way of a nice eight-hour stretch. Science has shown that how much you snooze, and the quality of your rest, may affect hormonal activity that boosts your appetite. On nights when you aren’t at a party until the wee hours, turn in early. If you are out late, try to nap the next day when your energy flags, instead of using a big snack as a pick-me-up.

4. Drink Water

The festive one-two punch of alcohol and salty foods means you need to down lots of H2O to stay hydrated. Don’t use alcohol to quench your thirst; have a glass of water or seltzer before your wine or cocktail and another glass in between libations. This will make it easier to limit alcoholic drinks to two per night—you’ll feel better and slimmer in the morning.

5. Experiment

If you equate the holidays with baking, fine. Just adjust your favorites to be a bit lighter. Cut sugar by a third, switch in some whole wheat flour for white, and sub applesauce or prune puree for butter and oil. If you like giving home-baked gifts, wrap them up ASAP so you’re not tempted to help yourself.

You can do it! And don’t forget to get in some exercise. Post meal walks with family and friends can be fun and good for you. Happy Holidays!




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