Holiday Survival Strategies

Don’t skip meals:  When you allow yourself to get too hungry, you run the risk of eating more (unhealthy) food later and wasting calories on fattening treats you didn’t really want to eat in the first place. Instead, eat on a schedule, and enjoy three meals and one or two 100- to 150-calorie snacks every day.

Bank your calories. Whether it’s a holiday party, Thanksgiving or Christmas, if dinner is going to be a feast or you’ll be grazing on hors d’oeuvres, save on calories throughout the day by choosing a breakfast, lunch and snacks that are heavy on lean protein (chicken, fish, turkey) and veggies, and light on fat, sugar and starch. Protein and fiber are the most filling nutrients around, so even though you’ll be eating fewer calories, you’ll still feel satisfied.

Drink lots of water—including two glasses before lunch and two glasses before dinner. Mild dehydration mimics the sensation of hunger, and drinking water prior to a meal starts to fill you up before you take your first bite of food so you’ll eat less.

Eat plenty of “Unlimited Foods” throughout the day. These foods contain few or no calories, which is why you can eat as much as you want of them. Make sure you have a variety on hand at all times. This will prevent you from reaching for something less healthy when hunger strikes. Snacking on these foods will also keep you from feeling deprived while you’re saving on calories for a party that night.

Have a restricted item that you find sweet or savory before the gathering.  This will help you to feel satisfied and reduce the cravings for salty or sweet snacks.

Keep to the perimeter of the party – food and goodies are normally centrally located in the kitchen, socialize and chat away from the food.

Make sure you exercise for 30 to 60 minutes five or more days per week. Exercise goes hand-in-hand with calorie control. It’s also a terrific stress buster—which makes it even more crucial now, because holidays can be a trigger for people prone to stress eating. Try to include some light interval training, yoga, walking.

No picking at endless leftovers!