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4 Holiday Eating Strategies

The holidays are a time to enjoy yourself, slack off from work a little, and see family or friends. If you’re trying to lose weight, it’s a time of stress and decision-making. Having a clear blueprint you can stick to will help you stay on track so that you don’t feel the need to make fitness resolutions when January 1st rolls around.

Here are four eating strategies to help you navigate holiday parties and tasty treats:

  1. Feel free to skip meals

Intermittent fasting is a trendy dieting strategy where you don’t allow yourself to eat for a certain period of the day. Most people choose to skip breakfast and only eat between 12-8PM. That’s enough time for lunch, a snack, and dinner. By restricting the amount of time you have to eat, most people end up eating less.

This is a good weight loss strategy if you can stick to it, but it can be uncomfortable. However, during the holiday season, it’s a useful strategy for days when you know you’ll be eating a big meal.

If you’ll be drinking, eating dessert, or having second portions of some delicious food, skip one of your meals that day. Let’s say you’re going to have a lot of food at dinner, 1,000 calories worth. If you typically eat 2,000 calories in a day, that could put you 300-400 calories over your goal. If your lunch is 500 calories, then skipping that meal can put you at your daily calorie goal, or even under.

  1. Don’t Drink Too Much

Carbohydrates and protein have 4 calories per gram. Fat has 9, making it very energy dense. Alcohol has 7, believe it or not, which means it’s almost twice as energy-dense as that bread or pasta you’re eating.

Since alcohol is packed with calories, it’s better to eat more food and dessert than to have more drinks. Try to limit the amount you’re drinking, and stick to beverages that don’t include extra calories. That means no cocktails.

  1. Give Your Edible Gifts Away

Cookies, chocolates, and candy canes make for easy gifts during the holiday season. Even though they’re fun to dish out, receiving pounds of unhealthy snacks can tempt you to deviate from your diet. It would be rude to throw them out, but you can pass your treats on to other family members or coworkers.

If you let these tasty treats sit in your house or apartment, you’ll probably eat them at some point. It’s better to get them out. That way, you’re not constantly fighting cravings. Even if you have an iron will, it’s better not to test it.

  1. Make Meals, Set An Example

When you’re invited to a restaurant, you have to make tough choices to skip unhealthy meals. Sometimes it’s hard to find anything within your diet at a restaurant. If you’re invited to someone’s home, or if you’re hosting, you have the chance to whip up at least one dish.

First of all, whatever you make should be able to fit in your diet. Worst-case scenario, if none of the other food is good for you, it’s possible to eat what you brought.

Don’t be too concerned with what other people think of your dish. Instead, make it an example of how you can eat delicious food that’s healthy. If you’re surrounded by people who don’t care about what they eat, you can set an example. Over time, you might even be able to convince your family or friends to eat more like you!

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