Warnings about holiday weight gain are as plentiful as the goodies that surround us this season. So, it may come as a surprise that some experts say it’s okay to indulge a little through the season.
Giving yourself permission to have some of your favorite seasonal foods during the holidays may actually help you control your weight in the long run. But, it should still be done in moderation.
5 Tips to Help You Indulge Responsibly:
- Eat what you like and don’t eat what you don’t like. It sounds simple enough, but can be tougher to do over the holidays when there’s so many choices and your favorite aunt made her famous fruit cake. If you’re picky, you’ll enjoy the things that you like the most. Recognize external cues that may be influencing your eating patterns. Sometimes we eat things out of obligation, because it looks fun, because there’s a variety, or just because it’s there. You are more likely to overdo it if you try and taste everything and that is often what makes us feel the guiltiest.
- Eat mindfully. Sit down, put the food on your plate, and take your time. Really taste what you are eating. If you’re busy doing something else, i.e. driving, walking into another room, reading, watching TV, etc. then you’re not focusing on your food.
- Don’t eat treats to satisfy your hunger. If you are hungry, eat something more substantial that includes some protein before digging into those treats. I’m not suggesting that you only eat them when you’re stuffed, but make sure you take the edge off your hunger – it will help you keep portions in check.
- Focus less on food. Give yourself permission to eat whatever you like, but try not to make the event all about the food. Focus instead on the relationships of the people you are with.
- Drink plenty of water. As the weather gets colder, people often don’t feel as thirsty. This doesn’t necessarily mean that we need less water though. Use water to hydrate yourself saving punch, apple cider, hot chocolate or other sugary drinks to have in moderation. Sometimes we’ll eat food because we’re thirsty and we try to quench that thirst with food.