Eating strategies for the holiday season

The following eating strategies do not involve replacing oil with applesauce, or how to make fat-free gravy. Holiday foods are special and they often bring to mind good family memories. Why mess with a good thing?

Eating strategies for the holidays involve common sense and yes, moderation. It seems the more we classify a food as unhealthy and completely decadent, the more we want to eat it. Call it forbidden and we want to binge on it. Look up the fat grams in pecan pie and we end up wanting the whole pie. 

What would happen if we legalized holiday foods? Would we eat less if we take away the guilt? If you do over-indulge, don’t try to make up for it by starving the next day. That will only lead to more over-indulging if you restrict yourself too much. Simply put it behind you and vow to take in plenty of fruits, vegetables, fiber and water the next day.

An important strategy to keep in mind during the holiday season is to eat only those foods that you love. Try not to waste calories on empty-calorie foods that you can eat any day.  Love your mom’s homemade stuffing? Make room for it on your plate, but leave off the mundane side dishes such as corn and rolls (unless you love them).

Another strategy is to think about spreading out your calories as much as you can.  Desserts seem to be extra tempting during the holiday season. There is no reason why you can’t have dessert, just try to wait a few hours. If you follow a holiday meal immediately with dessert, your body will store fat easier. Simply save the dessert for a snack later as a way to spread out calories rather than overeating so many calories at one setting.

Besides moderation in your food choices, try to take care of your body during the holidays. Burning the candle at both ends promotes poor food choices. Work on getting enough sleep and don’t neglect exercise. There is no reason why exercise should go on a holiday too.

Try to enjoy the holidays without the guilt. Feeling guilty and negative about good food will only make you want more of it. To prevent over-indulging and deprivation, legalize holiday food with moderation and balance.