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The holiday season is a time when we enjoy the company of friends and loved ones – and gain 10 pounds, okay lets be honest 15 the holidays can be really delicious!!  As the stores fill with images of jolly St. Nick, with a few simple tips you can avoid bring mistaken for one of his helpers.

  1. Make a Plan.  Decide on your limits before you are faced with Aunt Bessie’s homemade double chocolate super fudge brownies (made especially for you of course), the extra slice of pumpkin pie and your Mother’s prize winning shortbread.  Before you are faced with all these scrumptious delights decide what you will and will not indulge in.  Maybe you will have one of Aunt Bessie’s double chocolate super fudge brownies (after all they are your favorite) and stick to the veggie tray before dinner.  You can still enjoy your favorite foods, but choose only 1 or 2 of the high calorie ones and fill your tummy with other healthy options (like the veggie and fruit tray).
  1. Eat before the party.  Eating a good, healthy snack 20-30 minutes before your big holiday celebration can help reduce overeating significantly.  Try a handful of almonds or walnut to take the edge off your hunger so you are not starving before your next holiday party.
  1. Stick to your regular eating schedule.  Often people will skip meals in an attempt to make up for extra calories consumed at the afternoon office party.  This inevitably lowers your ability to “just say no” later in the day.  So keep to your regular meal schedule and continue to munch on healthy snacks and you will find your self-control is better when faced with your co-workers homemade heavenly desserts.
  1. Try not to graze.  Unconsciously “nibbling” here and there, finishing the last two cookies or piece of pie so you don’t have to store them will have you looking like the jolly elf himself in no time.  Instead make a conscious effort not to graze during the party or the clean up afterwards.  When there are leftovers (even the last piece of pie – you can do it) make sure they are put away to be enjoyed at another time (or maybe by someone else!!)
  1. Plan holiday gatherings around things other than food.  I know how crazy this sounds, but it is possible.  Trim the tree, sing carols, go skating, sledding, skiing, or for a walk downtown to enjoy the decorations.   Try to remember the greatest gift of the holidays is not the fruitcake (well I think we all knew that one) but it is also not the cookies or pumpkin pie but rather the friends, family and laughter we share.

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