As a dietitian, I have done my share of encouraging people to stay on track during the holidays and avoiding weight gain. While I do find that some of those tips can be helpful, I also like to be realistic. It’s Christmas, right? Aren’t you getting the Christmas cards wishing you joy and warm wishes? I know I get all warm when I think of some of the delicious holiday foods I only get this time of year. I know it brings me joy to eat all of them too! So, here is my non traditional take on how to enjoy holiday eating.
1. Eat the cookie! It’s okay, really! You won’t gain weight from eating a couple of cookies. Don’t waste your time on store-bought cookies, go for homemade.
2. Don’t go overboard trying to make everything lower in fat in calories. You can sacrifice taste and texture. No one wants to eat something that doesn’t taste good or has a weird texture.
3. It’s okay to overeat every once in a while. I admit, I enjoy my Christmas food coma. It happens once a year. I give myself permission to enjoy my food and not worry if I had enough fruits and vegetables. I have been known to unbuckle my pants and sit on the couch after Christmas dinner, groaning in joy and pain.
4. So what if you gain a couple of pounds. You can get right back on track when the temptations and gatherings are behind you. Don’t beat yourself up over it. It’s only a couple of pounds, not 10 or 20.
5. Don’t eat it because it’s there, eat it because it’s wonderful! I can’t tell you how many parties I have been to with mediocre food. If you don’t like the dried up meatballs, don’t waste your time. Move on or save for food you will enjoy more.