Maintain Your Diet During the Holidays With Moderation

by: Danielle Ternyila

Moderation is your health hack for the holidays if that’s what you’re looking for. That is the most important trick to staying healthy throughout the holidays and across all the gatherings and get-togethers filled with homemade meals and baked treats.

People get so caught up in trying to stick to their diets and programs during the holidays, and even worse, you end up feeling so guilty when you cave or stray just a little from the usual. You can’t lose weight or stay healthy with a negative attitude, and so it’s especially important to forgive yourself and indulge in moderation instead. Allow yourself to take a break and live in the moment, enjoying all the corn bread pudding, stuffing, and cookies you deserve to enjoy!

Just indulge in moderation. Think if it as a cheat meal and not a cheat day or even month. You don’t want to set yourself back or make yourself sick, which is easy to do when eating unique seasonal meals or overindulging. If you don’t normally eat a lot of sugar, dairy, gluten, or other things you find on your table on these special days, your body isn’t necessarily going to appreciate the overindulgence.

My normal diet is pretty simple and nutritious. I don’t eat much gluten because it causes nausea and bloating for me, and I am also lactose intolerant, so cheese is not usually in my fridge either, as 2 examples. However, I can’t make it through the holidays without my family’s stuffing or all the homemade cookies! Instead I make my choices on the buffet line cautiously. I choose vegetables and steer clear of anything that’s not worth breaking the diet for, and help myself to small portions of my few favorites to enjoy.

I’m still able to enjoy the things I look forward to all year, but I keep it balanced and light so that I don’t wake up the next day with a food hangover, as I like to call them. It’s also never a bad idea to offer bringing a dish of your own, so you can have a healthy alternative guaranteed at the table; for smaller get-togethers with friends as we count down to the New Year, I’ll be baking my own vegan chocolate chip cookies for exactly that reason!

Eat in moderation. Listen to your body, allow it time to digest your meal before you go in for seconds. A fun little trick is using a smaller dish for your food so your plate looks more full than it is, and don’t forget you have 20 minutes until your stomach sends those signals up to your brain that you are full, so eat slow and enjoy the meal.

What meal or recipes do you look forward to most at the holidays, and how do you fit it into your diet?

Let’s talk about it in the Empowerment group!

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