Some years I’m at a total loss for how to approach the holidays. On one end of the spectrum I could just indulge for 4 weeks and pick up where I left off come January. On the other end of the spectrum is a strict diet, which will keep me away from all holiday treats. Through experience, I know that neither is healthy (or leave me feeling great come January 1). If I indulge too much, I feel gross and am often depressed about what I just did to myself. If I don’t allow myself to enjoy the holidays at all, I usually overdo it at some point because I’m being too strict. The holidays don’t have to be one way or the other, so this year I’m focused on “Merry in Moderation”!!
I love the holiday season! I love the joy that it brings to people’s lives, the opportunity a lot of us have to celebrate with friends and family, and I love the food! I love the cookies, the family traditions built around food, and the celebrations. Heck, I even have Pinterest boards dedicated to this time of year.
Merry in Moderation is the perfect happy medium for me. It allows me to enter the holiday season with the confidence that I’ll make good choices while also allowing myself to enjoy one of my favorite times of year. Here are a few of my tips, along with tips for the Skinnygirl herself Bethenny Frankel, to have a Merry in Moderation holiday season!
1. Create a Holiday Party Roadmap! This year I have 7 holiday parties… SEVEN! Instead of indulging at every party, this year I made a list of all of the holiday parties I plan to attend and made a decision about which parties I wanted to indulge at and which parties I could be a little more disciplined at. I know I’ll want to enjoy a few glasses of wine and some tasty appetizers at a friend’s holiday party, so I balance that out by just enjoying people’s company at a work party.
2. Don’t Drink All Your Calories! While I love a nice glass of wine or the signature holiday cocktail, I try to balance out what I’m eating with what I’m drinking. If I want to have a couple of glasses of wine, then I hold off on the dessert. If I want a piece of that famous peppermint cheesecake, then I just drink water. It’s all about balance.
3. Be a Scrooge Not a Grinch: Taste Everything! When faced with a holiday buffet, dinner or party, it is OK to take a little taste of the dishes that tempt you most, versus a whole feast! The Skinnygirl rule is “taste everything, eat nothing,” where you fill a small plate with a few bites of the most indulgent dishes, and this way, don’t feel deprived that you missed out on something.
4. Stick to Your Budget! Just as you have a budget in mind when you go holiday shopping, the same can be said for eating around the holidays. Treat your diet like a bank account. If you invest in something decadent, balance that with something healthy. You can invest in a cookie, a piece of cake or holiday candy (just not all at once!), and then ‘deposit’ into your diet some healthier fruit, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein options.
5. Plan Some Holiday Themed Workouts! Whether you sign up for a special holiday spin class, run a holiday themed 5K, or go for a long walk with a friend or loved one, balance out your holiday treats with holiday workouts. There’s nothing better than going for a long walk after Christmas dinner. Fresh air, great conversation, and a little movement do the body good!
6. Make a (Snack) List and Check it Twice! Don’t let decking the halls turn into wrecking your diet. If you find yourself suddenly starving while out holiday shopping, bypass the food court and make sure you have on hand healthy snacks, such as nuts, fresh fruit, or a Skinnygirl Daily Tasty Nutrition Bar. Having a healthy snack before you attend a holiday party also helps fill you up, reducing the risk of overindulging on less nutritious options. For other healthy snack options, check out www.SkinnygirlSnackSwap.com.
7. Be Merry and Move On! Enjoy that party or holiday meal and then move on. Don’t get down on yourself for what you ate or how you indulged. Create a plan and move on.
8. Good Things Come in Small Packages! Just like the little blue box that may hold something sparkly, think “small” when it comes to holiday eating: Order the small size, use small plates, take smaller portions. If you are dining out, order an appetizer portion or only eat half of what is on the plate, and ask for the rest to take home.
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Skinnygirl. All opinions are my own.