It's that time of year when parties and cheese plates and cookies are everywhere you go. We all want to avoid looking like this plump Mr. Snowman over here by the end of the holiday season, so here's some quick survival tips to help get you through.
1. Indulge at events only. The holidays are about gatherings and social events, a lot of which are awesome fun. Enjoy the dinner and have some cookies. The reality is that these events aren't all-day affairs; they're single events. You don't have to have a bagel or croissantwich for breakfast just because it's December. Focus on eating well for those meals that you do have control over. For many, breakfast and lunch are pretty easy meals to have packed with fruits, veggies, and lean proteins. Snack on veggies, healthy nuts, and seeds. My general rule is 70-80% healthy, 20-30% treats. Don't let the treats overtake the healthy!
2. Don't focus on weight loss, focus on maintaining. This is also what I like to call "damage control". The reality of December is that we're all going to indulge (myself included). It's really hard not to indulge with all of the delicious treats that we get in the clinic here from our culinarily-gifted patients! If your goal is weight loss, don't be discouraged if that slows down and don't feel guilty when you're out at a social event. If you're going to have a cookie (or two), really, really enjoy them. Remember, over the grand scheme of the week or year, you're still coming out ahead.
3. Have a team. Most peoples' kryptonite is the treat table at work where, ironically, treats get dumped to get them out of the house. Chances are your work neighbour is also fighting the urge to get up and get just-one-more-and-that's-it-I-swear treat. Help talk each other off the ledge.
4. Eat or drink your way to the treat. Let me explain this one. Say you want a cookie (again). Take that cookie and put some veggie sticks and hummus in front of it, or even just a big glass of water. Eat the veggie sticks and hummus, or drink the glass of water, then you can have the cookie. You'll be a bit more full by the time it's cookie's turn, and you'll be helping your brain link "I want a snack" to healthy options. This helps you bounce back in January much easier as we all try to rip our brains out of the addictive clutches of the sugar.
Also, don't forget that if you have benefits, now's the time to use them up before the end of the year!