Hanukkah has started, the Winter Solstice has arrived and we are just a few days away from Christmas. This season, and it's accompanying anticipation, stress, and overabundance, can all add up to a less than happy holiday. With a few simple tips you can still enjoy the holidays and make it through the season in good shape.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Starting the day with fiber and protein will keep blood sugar stable. This often helps to avoid the temptation to overindulge later in the day. It can also help younger ones not be as prone to meltdown.
Snack before the party. Instead of skipping meals so that you will be "really hungry" before a party have a small high protein snack. This will help reduce the possibility of overeating. It also helps keep the blood sugar more stable if you do choose to have sugary treats.
Enjoy the company more than the food. Quick and mindless eating often leads to overindulgence which often leads to feeling overfull and possible indigestion. Holiday gatherings are supposed to be more about the friends and family than the food. Eating slowly will help you recognize when you've had enough.
Look before you leap. If you are attending buffet style holiday gatherings take the time to look at what is offered before you fill your plate. Instead of putting "just a little bit of everything" on the plate (which often leads to an overfull plate and more chance of overeating) choose what you really want to eat and take a smaller amount. It's better to go back for seconds than to overeat.
Three polite bites. This is a great rule to remember for desserts. Denying yourself desserts altogether can lead to a deprivation-induced binge. But by choosing what you really want and limiting yourself to three polite bites you will get maximum enjoyment for minimum claoric intake. If you want more than one dessert item see if you can share with someone so you can both enjoy it without overindulging.
Take a break. Give yourself permission to say no. You do not need to go to every party you are invited to. Or, if you go to a party and are feeling tired or overwhelmed it's okay to leave early. Taking care of you allows you to make it through the holidays without feeling like a grinch.
Have a happy healthy holiday!