Eating Smart During the Holidays

Eating smart during the holidays is not always easy. I know that holidays like Thanksgiving can be times of stress and guilt for those who plan to "eat healthfully," but end up "falling off the wagon" instead. 

If you are one who overate or ate foods you had planned to avoid, please don't give up!

And don't beat yourself up!

Helpful tips for eating smart during the holidays.

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Just make your new set of new, healthier meal plans and set yourself up for success for tomorrow, next week, next month. 

You can do it!

Regular Exercise may Help Keep you Motivated

If you're like me, when you're moving often, it can make it easier to want to eat healthfully.

If you've been too busy to work out recently, again, don't beat yourself up. Instead:

  • Make a simple plan to do better. 
  • Do a quick workout or go on a short walk out in the fresh air. Just get moving. 
  • Do something you love, if possible!

Yes, it's holiday time. Yes, it's a busy time. And yes, there are more tempting foods around us this month.

Helpful tips for eating smart during the holidays.

Eating Smart During the Holidays--if you eat a lower carb, higher fat diet

If you're like me and find sugary sweets especially tempting--why not just plan to "procrastinate" in eating some each day. (I'm good at procrastinating. Might as well put that ability to good use, right?!)

You definitely don't have to eat just like I do to find success.

But what has worked for me in the past was to:

  • eat lower carb/higher fat (healthy fat) foods during the day. The healthy fats help keep me feeling satisfied so I eat fewer times.
  • Then, after dinner, I had something sweet, like maybe a half cup of frozen blueberries warmed up for 8 minutes in a 350-degree oven. 
  • So I did eat some sweets, just not a lot, and at the end of the day, so they didn't tempt me to keep eating lots of them continuously.

If that sounds too restrictive for you, perhaps you might save your favorite holiday candy or cookie to eat just after dinner.

If You Normally Eat more Carbohydrates...

The past few years I felt I did best eating a diet that was generally lower carb, higher in healthy fats, with moderate protein.

This year, I have made a transition to a diet that is still moderate in animal protein, but higher in healthy carbohydrates (especially beans, I eat many serving of beans now!), and though I do still eat healthy fats, it is maybe just once a day, usually.

I used to seem to be carbohydrate intolerant. Thankfully, after starting the Vitamin A Detox / Love Your Liver Program, I have been able to expand my diet to include more healthy carbs, especially beans. I actually try to make sure I eat beans from 3-6 times per day, or even more often. (Before, I was not even able to tolerate beans at all--I thought I would have to avoid them for life.)

So now I find that I can maintain my weight by eating according to the food combining principles found in the Trim Healthy Mama diet (though I do NOT eat many of the processed foods they allow). 

The thing that seems to really help keep my cravings in check and keeps me eating smart during the holidays with this way of eating is to eat about every 2-3 hours according to their plan, which keeps my blood sugar nice and level. 

And this eating plan is nice for me because I can satisfy my sweet tooth while staying on plan each day. This helps me feel less temptation when I find myself near lots of decadent treats. (Not that I always resist them 100%, but at least I can get "back on the wagon" with lots of foods that taste great to me.)

[November 2022 Update: I now am eating according to the Eating For Life / Body for Life way of eating, and really enjoying it. I'm even using the Body for Life Success Journal as I am also doing the workouts with a combination of weights and these Resistance Bandswhich I LOVE. I follow their plan using mostly whole foods (I do make some weight loss smoothies with single ingredient collagen powder for protein, though). Once a week I get to have a "cheat day," so when others around me eat treats that I really like a lot, I just set one aside to eat on that day.]

But you may have your own way of eating that works best for you that is different from mine. And that's fine!

You know yourself best. Make a plan to eat a little better this December than you did last December, and you'll find your own path toward eating smart during the holidays.

Helpful tips for eating smart during the holidays.
Helpful tips for eating smart during the holidays.