It’s the Holiday Season!

Plan how you’ll have a Happy Holiday!

We discussed this topic in the meeting room just prior to Thanksgiving, however I feel it’s just appropriate for Christmas dinners!  The Great plate!  It’s all about the plan.  When you’re at a bountiful feast during the holiday season you can choose what foods are worth it to you (or not) and enjoy the day to the fullest without losing sight of your goals.  The secret is to plan ahead.  Preparing for a holiday dinner may seem daunting and I would agree, but chances are you can predict 90% of what is going to be at the table, even if you are the guest and not the host.  Remember that when you’re with family and friends you love, it doesn’t matter what you’re eating!  Thinking about the menus ahead of time cab help you anticipate challenges ( yummy gravy, buttery mashed potatoes), set priorities (cheese and crackers vs pumpkin pie) and ask for what you need.  You can also decide whether to stick to your daily points/calorie target or if you’ll break into those weeklies!  Maybe you’ll let yourself go over by a certain amount or even take a day off from tracking all together.  Thinking ahead let’s you choose what’s best for you and it helps you set up to get back on track the very next meal (or the very next day).  

Weight Watchers Weekly offered a great suggestion for a 12 hour strategy to get you through some of the toughest holiday meals!
  • Morning – Eat a healthy breakfast.  Regular meals during the day can help keep you from being ravenous at the holiday meal.
  • Midmorning – Before things get too busy, carve out a few minutes to breathe, stretch, read, whatever keeps you grounded.  It can help you feel more focused, less stressed and able to tackle the day’s hurdles.
  • Midday – Eat a light nutritious lunch to keep up your energy and your hunger level manageable. (Yes, even if there’s more food coming later).  Being starving at the table is a bad plan.
  • At the big meal – Remember your plan.  
    • Savor the flavor.  Eat mindfully to max your pleasure and feel satisfied sooner.
    • Create a plate packed with eye appeal.  Choose colorful veggies, drizzle on gravy and give your food some space so you can appreciate how it looks.
    • Look around the table for a moment or two and take in the setting – the candles, sparkling glasses, holiday touches and smiling faces.
    • Take a deep breath or a few, before you dig in, it will help center you in the moment. 
    • Chew slowly, focus on the taste and texture.  Your stomach will thank you!
    • Put down your fork often and engage in the conversation – that’s the longer lasting pleasure of the day.
    • Pace yourself to the slowest eater. (you’ll be seated until everyone is finished anyway – so what’s the point of finishing first!)
  • Choosing your food – Consider all options, then bypass foods that you can eat any old time.  Focus on the special ones you enjoy the most.  Can’t decide?  That’s ok too.  Take bite sized portions of a few rather than a full portion of one.  Snap a picture of your plate in case you want to track later.
  • After eating – Wait five minutes before having seconds to see if you’re still hungry.  Move away from the food and focus on the other “F” words: family, friends and fun.
  • After dessert – Declare the meal done!  Then switch gears – help clear the table, suggest a walk, or settle down for conversation or holiday programs.
During the holidays many of us focus on how stressed we are rather than how blessed we are to have such wonderful family and friends to share the season with.  I hope you find a moment during this holiday season to be thankful.  

Wishing you the very best for the Holiday Season and a Very Happy New Year!

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