13 Tips for Regret Free Holiday Eating

by Nancy Mehlert, MS

Most would agree that the Fall & Winter Holiday Season can be very challenging from a health and weight
perspective. The food fest can be seemingly delightful and delicious but can also bring negative
consequences, great temptation, and unwanted weight gain. Beginning a new year tired and digestively
distressed is not pleasant. Take heart! With a good strategy in place, you can enjoy the holidays
without the dreaded consequences.

Here are some tips to help you succeed:

    •  Halloween Candy- The Gateway Drug:  For starters, avoid allowing the candy fest during
      Halloween to start your downward spiral into sugar, cravings and overeating. Get the candy out
      of the house (better yet, don’t let it in at all) on November 1 and be determined to eat clean
      until Thanksgiving day. This alone can make a huge dent in the damage we can inflict on our
      health during this time of year.
    • Use the 80/20 Rule: Recognize that 80% of your nutrition choices need to be the clean
      foundation that your “cheating” rests on. Stay on track 80% of the time. This helps your body
      defend and protect from the 20% indulgence.
    • Attitude Matters: Choose a happy and cheerful attitude about your strategy. Enjoy your
      exceptions slowly, deliberately and happily while also finding contentedness as you eat
      healthfully most of the time.
    • Examine past years: You are familiar with the adage, “If you keep repeating the same behavior,
      you can expect the same results”. Identify what has derailed you in the past. Change the plan,
      alter the routine, stop participating in some of the events or situations that are troublesome for
      you. Start some new habits and traditions that foster a healthier approach.
    • Narrow the Scope: Not everything that looks good, tastes good or feels good – will afterwards. Check
      out buffet tables and food offerings carefully and determine what one item matters most to
      you. Be selective. Rather than dropping boundaries and rules for a week or a day, narrow that
      down to a specific meal time with a set duration of an hour or two. Then jump right back on
      track. Once you choose to enjoy an exception to the rule, savor it and refuse to impose guilt on
      yourself. Set boundaries and limit the frequency and quantity of your indulgence.
    • Abort: When you take a bite or sip of an indulgence, savor carefully to see if it is truly delightful.
      If not, abort the indulgence. After all, it isn’t worth it, right? (Yes, even if it means you toss it in
      the trash along with the money you just spent on it. This cathartic response makes you think
      more carefully next time. Throwing something away helps you to mentally part from it for
      good).
    • Order On Line: Walking in the grocery store can be fraught with temptations and eye candy. Stay
      focused on nutrient dense, quality foods by ordering on line and picking it up, curbside.
    • Create Bumper Days: Identify primary events where delectable food will be available and create
      clean bumper days around them. In other words, eat very clean and healthfully the days before
      and the days after the event. This is a good practice for Thanksgiving Day, for example.
    • Determine to Focus on Other Things: If you tend to get focused on food too much, you may
      want to intentionally choose and create ways to focus on some other things. Focus on
      thankfulness and keep a daily “Thankful Journal”. Focus on a specific family member you would like to love better
      and engage in acts of kindness to improve that relationship. Focus on serving others, taking a deeper faith walk, or
      learning to love and care for yourself better in every way.
    • Gather an accountability partner or two: Ask a friend, or your children or spouse to join in the effort to make wiser
      choices during the holidays. Working together as a family or group of friends can be very helpful and much more fun!
    • Plan to prepare healthier indulgences: Many favorite foods can be made in healthier ways.
      With planning, many foods can feel like an indulgence but truly be healthy. Look for ways to
      reduce sugar, wheat and carbohydrates while increasing nutrition, vegetables, healthy fats and
      fiber. Try to choose organic, Non-GMO foods, pasture raised meats and poultry, and sweeteners
      such as erythritol and monk fruit. Whole 30, Paleo and Keto cookbooks and on line posts can be
      helpful resources as is our newly revised and expanded Health Reset Protocol Cookbook. (Be
      sure to reserve your copy today!)
    • Check out new vendors such as Just Vanilla – A Free-from Bake Shop, justvanillaco.com, a new
      bakery in The Woodlands/Spring area that has dairy free, vegan and keto options for baked
      goods. When eating out, choose restaurants that specialize in cleaner options, such as True
      Foods in The Woodlands, Town Center.
    • Feel the reward of starting the new year without the need for guilt or a resolution to get back on track.

The Woodlands Institute for Health and Wellness is here to support you through this season. For help
with nutritional accountability, putting your strategy together or specific ideas that will help you
succeed, schedule an appointment with our Nutrition Specialist, Nancy Mehlert, MS.

Celebrate well, eat well, be well.

By |2018-10-30T05:22:01+00:00October 25th, 2018|General, NANCY’S NUTRITIONAL NUGGET|
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