I keep reading that the average American gains anywhere from 1-7 pounds between Christmas and New Years. (Some reports were as many as 12 pounds!) We are not surprised, since this time of year is filled with holiday food, festivities, parties, and treat traditions. With our schedules full of evenings out–we are eating at home less. Parties are not the time to be impolite and talk about our food preferences. But with two Christmas parties back to back this week, I was reminded that I should NOT throw caution to the wind and accept my “feasting fate” for the holidays.
I am all or nothing. So if I feel slight failure I am tempted to cave in on all occasions. Pass the eggnog and the fudge.
Waking up this morning I was reminded that I have been given 3-5 daily opportunities to make a good choice. I may not be able to control what is served at the parties I attend…but I can control what goes in to my mouth while I am there and more importantly what I eat the rest of the day!
So here are 5 suggestions that might help you better cruise through Christmas cookie cravings…
1. DRINK LOTS OF WATER. Blah blah. No seriously…please don’t make me go in to all of the health benefits of drinking water. Last year a friend gave me a super cute plastic Christmas cup with a straw. I take it everywhere. Do whatever it takes. Just do it.
2. KEEP STOCKED. What are your favorite healthy “fast foods?” Keep them on hand, in your car, and in your fridge. Carrots, celery, peppers and hummus. Almonds, apples, peanut butter. Kale and spinach for a quick salad or smoothie. Get as close to nature as possible and eat loads of “nutrient rich” foods through the month. You don’t have to prepare a masterful meal each night–just be sure when you do grab something quick, it is healthy.
3. FIBER IS YOUR FRIEND. Along with staying hydrated, fiber keeps you fuller, and keeps everything moving nicely through your system. So instead of something easily processed, be intentional about popping something full of fiber in your mouth.
4. FOCUS on the FESTIVITIES…not the FOOD. Why are you celebrating? Focus on your co-workers, neighbors, the people that you are with. The family you never see. Think creatively how you can make that time more memorable and not solely surrounded by food.
5. FORGIVE AND MOVE ON. If you mess up…get over it…don’t start constantly using the drive thru, or dumping trash in your grocery cart because you had a rough meal. Between now and New Years you have 63 meals to eat. (Even more if you eat mini-meals throughout the day.) Are you going to let 3-7 holiday meals mess up your month???
Food is NOT your enemy. Food is NOT your friend. Food is fuel.
May we spend the next 63 meals living this out and enjoy the real reason for the season.
May You Be a Blessing and May You Be Blessed!