Cookies, cakes, jelly rolls, casseroles GALORE!  Around this time, there is food everywhere.  Every time you turn around, there are fresh baked cookies and pies, one celebration or another (which is wonderful…), and during the cold months, nothing sounds better than rich, decadent comfort food.

Except, how often do you end up eating too much to the point where all that food no longer tastes good and you just feel blah?  I’m not someone to say no to trying new foods or indulging at special occasions (or every night), but I have a few tips for keeping it under control during the holiday season.  Tis the season to be jolly, but no one wants to jolly themselves into the next size up 😉photo

  • Ask yourself, “Is this something special?”  Was it homemade?  Have you never tried it before?  Is it going to be amazing?  If the answers to those questions are yes, then go for it!  Enjoy that cookie, or a slice of that pie.  However, if the answers are no- if the cookies are from the store or the cake is from a box or the casserole is from a mix, skip it!  I promise you it won’t be worth it and that sub-par indulgence will end up costing you more fat and calories than it was worth.
  • Share a slice/ bite/ piece with a friend!  If you reaaaallllllyyyyy want to have all four types of pie (and who doesn’t?!), share the slices with someone else so that you both get to try a little bit of everything without the calorie bomb that comes with them.
  • Pick and choose.  What I mean by that is this:  If you go to a party where there is a lot of beer and wine, creamy and rich food, followed by sugary, fun desserts, then pick a couple of things to enjoy and do just that.  ENJOY THEM.  Instead of having two glasses of wine, have just one.  Load your plate up with a salad and other veggies, but try some of those decadent entrees and savor each bite.  Choose a dessert or two that is really talking to you and eat it slowly.
  • Eat slowly.  It’s easy to hit the buffet table and inhale three small plates in less than ten minutes.  That’s too fast for you to even realize what you’re eating!  Take it slow, sit down and enjoy your food.
  • Make a plan BEFORE you get to the party.  I can’t express how beneficial it was to tell myself that I would NOT overdo it on Thanksgiving before I got there.  If you wait until you get to the party, all bets are off.  When you see all that food, it’s a lot easier to make excuses because “it’s just one night”.  Make a specific plan before you get there to have X amount of alcohol, be selective in your choices, try the healthier options, and to not overeat.  It’s much easier to be mindful if you’ve thought about it before you get there.
  • Try cooking and baking some healthier holiday treats.  Everyone associates the holidays with the most decadent things, but there are so many yummy treats that are fun to make, total crowd pleasers, and guilt-free.  Try a healthy pumpkin pie, deep dish cookie pie (trust me on this- that pie is SO GOOD and no one will be able to tell that it has beans in it), or a wheatberry/ pomegranate/ butternut squash/ cranberry salad.  I have made the last two links and they’re festive and family/ friends-approved.
  • Enjoy yourself.  Overall, don’t go nuts.  Enjoy yourself because as you know, this special time is only here once a year.  Savor this time of the year, from every bite, to every moment with those you love.

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