Every holiday season you vow this will be the year you won’t blow your diet. You pass on the buttered rolls, eggnog, sugar cookies dripping with buttercream icing, heck, you even said no to the candied yams. Then something comes around you just can’t resist, maybe it’s a slice of pecan pie with a dollop of whipped cream or a warm, cheesy crab dip. You allow yourself a bite. Then, before you know it, you’re diving in with reckless abandon, focusing on each mouthful to keep from looking at the fact that you’ve just blown it completely. You circle back to the sugar cookies, toss in some cheese straws just because you can and by the end of your rampage all that’s left is self loathing and guilt which you’d also eat if you could. You vow to get back on track tomorrow, but your willpower is diminished. Five pounds later you’re wondering how the heck did this happen?
Don’t worry, we’ve all been there. Expecting to completely pass on all the delights thrust upon you during the holiday season is a truly Herculean task. What if this year you took a different approach? You could give in and pass on extra pounds (and side of regret) that typically accompanies the most forbidden foods. How? Here are a few tips we plan to use to have our cake and eat it too this holiday season.
Just say, yes! Don’t ignore the dip, cake, pie, cookies, rolls that are calling your name. They see you, you see them, and playing games will only make you long for them more. Instead, plan to indulge. That’s right. Make giving in part of your diet. When allowing yourself a treat is part of your plan, you’re less likely to binge. You’re also more likely to be more conscious of the foods you consume during the day to allow for the special treats you’ll eat later on.
Eat a meal, before the meal. Going to a holiday party where there’s sure to be lots of tempting appetizers and desserts? Plan ahead by eating a healthy meal rich in protein and fiber before you go. While you’re at the event, indulge in whatever you like. Because you’re not starving, you’re likely to be more discerning about what you actually put on your plate. You’ll also eat less.
Savor the flavor. Practice mindful eating. When you pick up that truffle don’t let feelings of guilt cloud your enjoyment. Savor each bite. Be present as you enjoy it. How does it smell? How does it feel on your tongue? What flavors do you taste? Research shows the first bite of anything is often the most enjoyable. Enjoy a taste and move on.