By: Laura Scheper
The holidays seem to creep up faster every year, and along with the decorations, snow and shopping comes lots and lots of food! The opportunities to eat candy, cookies and all things processed call our name around every corner. So how can we indulge in the deliciousness of the season without ripping our pants? Here are a few tips that can help you stay on course through the holidays:
- Eat BEFORE you go to the party. Even if food is going to be served, it likely won’t be the healthiest of choices. Eat a light meal before you leave the house and you will be less tempted to eat five servings of cheese balls.
- Bring a fun and healthy dish with you. Whether it’s a potluck at work or a friends’ cocktail party, bringing a dish prepared with fresh ingredients ensures you’ll have a guilt-free option at the table. It also can be a great conversation starter (in my experience, people are always amazed when they eat delicious food that is actually good for them). And healthy doesn’t mean boring. Try Googling your favorite appetizer and include the word “paleo” in the search line for a great-tasting alternative to the unhealthy version.
- Plan out your week ahead of time. If you’re attending an event that won’t be the best for your waistline, make a conscious effort to eat extra clean during the week. While I wouldn’t recommend going nuts and eating horribly, if you balance your “cheat day” with a solid week of clean eating, you’ll be less likely to have to loosen that belt at the end of the season.
- Recommend activities that don’t revolve around food. Have you ever noticed that most of our time with family and friends revolve around meal times? Try recommending different ways to spend time together: outdoor ice skating, sporting events, caroling, game nights, and even checking out a neighborhood lighting contest – all of these activities are ways to make lasting memories without having to gorge on food and alcohol.
- Enlist an accountability partner. Having a friend or significant other on board with staying healthy through the holidays will make saying no to that decadent double chocolate cake much easier. Even a workout buddy to ask every Monday how your diet was over the weekend will help you think twice before grabbing for that extra serving of sweet corn.
Surviving the holidays doesn’t mean you have to quarantine yourself from grandma and her famous sweet potato pie. With a few easy steps you can enjoy the season and still start the New Year with the same size pants. Sooo…who wants me to be their accountability partner?