Did you have great plans to stick to a healthy diet – until the holidays came along?
As Christmas draws near, it’s harder and harder to stick to sensible eating habits. Your boss brings in a box of donuts. Your friend invites you round for drinks and nibbles. Every store has boxes of cookies and chocolates on offer.
But if you don’t want to end up with a belly to rival Santa’s, read on…
- Don’t Try to Be Perfect
First, ditch the idea that you need to be perfect in order to eat healthily or to lose weight. An occasional candy bar, glass of wine or piece of cheese won’t ruin your whole diet – unless you use it as an excuse to give up.
Instead of aiming to be perfect, focus on being good 80% of the time. That might mean, for instance, having a healthy breakfast and lunch, ordering a sensible entree for dinner, then enjoying an indulgent dessert.
- Do Eat Plenty of Fruits and Veggies
Wherever you are in the world, you can make the most of seasonal fruits and veggies. If you’re in the southern hemisphere, that might mean big fresh salads and juicy summer fruits. If you’re in the northern hemisphere, you might want hearty vegetable soups and cooked fruit.
Almost all fruits and veggies are low calorie and packed with vitamins and minerals which you need in order to stay healthy. (Go easy on avocados, which are high in fat, and on potatoes and other starchy vegetables.)
- Don’t Stock Up Too Soon
Sure, it’s tempting to grab a pile of candy while it’s cheap – but remember that the stores will have plenty of seasonal foods on sale right until Christmas. If you stock up too soon, you’ll probably find that you’ve eaten lots of those goodies well before the big day.
(I’m speaking from experience here – my husband and I have already managed to scoff some of the chocolates we supposedly bought for presents!)
Keep indulgent treats out of the house and you’re much less likely to be tempted.
- Do Make Something Healthy for the Potluck
Going to a potluck meal and taking a dish? Rather than making that fat-and-sugar-laden chocolate cream pie, how about something different this year? If you take along a salad or a bowl of roasted vegetables, you’ll be doing yourself a favor – and other guests may well appreciate having a few healthier dishes on the table.
For dessert, fruit salad or baked fruits are great options. If those aren’t going to be popular with others, look for a lower-fat cake or muffin recipe.
- Don’t Go Partying on an Empty Stomach
When you’re heading out for an evening of drinks and food, have a healthy snack or a light meal beforehand – a wholewheat sandwich, for instance, or a baked potato. Turning up to a party hungry means getting drunk quickly, and diving into fatty, salty or sugary snacks.
If you’re going to be out and about running holiday errands, take a couple of pieces of fruit or a granola bar with you, so that you’ve got a quick snack to hand.
How’s your diet looking at the moment? Got any extra holiday tips to share?
|Written on 12/11/2010 by Ali Luke. Ali writes a blog, Aliventures, about leading a productive and purposeful life (get the RSS feed here). As well as blogging, she writes fiction, and is studying for an MA in Creative Writing.||Photo Credit: gromgull|