7 Tips for Eating Right during the Holidays

The month between Thanksgiving and Christmas isn’t just the peak time for shopping; it’s also the peak time for eating. Between all the parties and family get-togethers, you can easily pack on the pounds by the time the holidays are over.

Thankfully, there are things you can do to limit the damage of holiday eating. Start by following these simple tips.

1. Set realistic goals—Don’t set goals that you won’t be able to keep. Doing so will only stress you out and compound your problems. Trying to lose weight during the holidays is next to impossible, and it will make you miserable. Instead, focus on maintaining your current weight or limiting your weight gain to just a few pounds.

2. Put it on paper—It’s one thing to say you won’t pack on the pounds during the holidays; it’s another to actually do it. When you say something in passing, you’re likely to forget about it and not stick to it. That’s why writing it down on paper is so important. Write down your specific holiday eating goals, and post it somewhere that you’ll see it on a daily basis. Track your progress on a daily basis to hold yourself accountable.

3. Make health-smart substitutions—During the holidays, you’ll be faced with eating cookies, brownies, pies, and other dangerous treats. While you can reward yourself with some of these tasty delights, you should try to limit your consumption of them, and you can do this by replacing them with healthier alternatives, like fruits, vegetables, and nuts.

4. Get help from family and friends—Eating right is hard enough as it is, and doing it during the holidays is even more challenging. That’s why you should ask close friends and family for help. Buddy up with an accountability partner, so the two of you can help each other make healthy eating choices. Whenever you go to family Christmas dinner, let them know you’re trying to eat right, and they’ll be there to help you out.

5. Don’t beat yourself up if you overeat—With all of the office parties, hangouts with your friends, and family dinners, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll slip up and eat more than you planned. That’s okay. What’s done is done, and there’s no point in beating yourself up over it. Just continue to track your progress, and get back on track the next day. Don’t let one mistake keep your from reaching your goals.

6. Prepare for challenging situations—If you know a big party or other event is coming up where you’ll be tempted to overeat, prepare for it ahead of time. Plan out how much you’ll allow yourself to eat, and even consider snacking on fruits and vegetables before you arrive so that you aren’t as hungry while you’re there. If you have an accountability partner that will be at the event with you, get together with them beforehand to make sure you keep each other in check.

7. Give away leftovers—Holidays=leftovers. Instead of taking home all of that pie, ham, turkey, cookies, and whatever else there you’re eating, try giving your leftovers to someone else. You can give them to friends, family, or even a local shelter. This will keep you from snacking on these foods while you’re sitting around the house during the holidays.

How do you keep from overeating during the holidays? Share your best tips in the replies.

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