For a healthy eater, the holiday season is a veritable minefield of temptations. Even when you think you’ve managed to resist it, January rolls around and you realize your jeans are a bit tighter than they were a month ago. The truth is, these holiday temptations will never go away, but there are ways to make them easier to deal with.
The easiest way is to be the one who throws the parties. Since you’re in charge of the menu, you can include all the healthy food you want! For hors d’ouevres, try low-fat cheeses and nuts, hummus and veggies, and fresh fruit. Reinvent classic recipes, or try something new, such as sweet potatoes instead of buttered mashed potatoes. Include strawberries and fat-free whipped cream along with the traditional desserts.
When you do go to someone else’s home, just be mindful of what you’re grabbing. If there’s a buffet, load up on vegetables and fruit first. These will fill you up faster and keep you full longer. If you’re afraid that you won’t find any healthy dishes at your friend’s house, offer to bring something with you, even if it’s just a veggie platter.
Of course, this time of year is all about tradition—baking cookies, giving gifts, and sitting around the dinner table with family. But you don’t have to sacrifice these rituals in order to stay on track. If you love baking and decorating cookies but don’t want to end up eating them all yourself, give them away as gifts instead! You can send them to work with your spouse, take them to your kids’ sporting events, or gift them to neighbors. Anything to get them out the house and off your mind! And when the family’s together, instead of sitting at the table and continuing to "graze," suggest that you all play a game or take a group walk.
The most important thing to remember is that it’s OK to eat the things you love. If you wait all year for stuffing or sugar cookies, go ahead and have some! As long as you eat fattening foods in moderation, and fill the rest of your plate with the healthier items, there’s no reason to deny yourself.
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