By special request, here are my 12 favorite holiday tips.
1. Walk before you eat
Even if it means bundling up in warm winter clothes, take a 20 or 30 min. walk before every holiday meal or event.
2. Don’t skip meals
On days when you have a big, special event, don’t try to “save up” calories by skipping any of your regular meals.
3. Tasting diet
Pick the foods that look wonderful but eat only a bite or two. Have just enough to decide whether or not the food wins the prize.
4. Half-off special
Eat half of everything. Or, take half of your usual “serving size.” You might even consider taking half of the amount you actually want.
5. Slow down
Set a goal of finishing your meal at the same time as the slowest person at the table. This is especially challenging when there’s a two-year old at your meal.
6. Eat snacks with a fork
Use a fork or spoon to eat “hand-held foods” such as nuts, M&M’s, chips or other snack foods. It’s amazing how this limits your amounts.
7. Water before wine
Drink a large glass of water before you start sipping on a glass of wine, beer or other alcoholic beverage. Or just drink extra water anyway.
8. Protect from trouble
Stay away from the foods and places that weaken your resolve. During times when you start eating a snack food and can’t seem to stop, brush your teeth or suck on a slice of lemon.
9. Look into eyes
Make a special effort to look at people’s eyes, even noticing their eye colors. They will be amazed at how present you are in the conversations.
10. Simplify everything
Look for ways to cut out some of the usual rituals or activities that wear you out. Explain that you are working on having a simpler, more meaningful holiday season.
11. Don’t even start!
Repeat this phrase until you feel totally in control around the food. By avoiding that first bite, you’ll prevent the taste trigger from even getting started.
12. Minimize the damage
That eliminates trying to be perfect or never eat holiday foods. It just means to stick with your boundaries, and use them to keep you on track. Take a walk, go home, read a book, even go to bed if necessary.