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The Holiday Hold

Posted on November 16, 2016 at 9:30 PM Comments comments (0)

From Halloween to the New Year, the holidays are a time of indulgence. Every food store, restaurant, and coffee shop is busy pitching all of your dietary favorites. They hit you with all of the flavors that remind you of the cookies, candies, pastries, and celebration foods that your mother and grandmother make or used to make. The problem is that the vast majority of these foods are very calorie heavy and nutrient light. When was the last time you heard anyone say, “Boy, I do miss my Auntie’s fresh spinach salad!”? Probably never. So, what are you to do? Restraint is zero fun, but you always feel guilty about the 5-10 pounds you gain through the season.

It’s all about timing and strategy.

Timing: I’m sure that you’ve heard, more than twice, “There is a time and a place for everything.” Well, I say you can have your cake, or pie, or cookies and eat them too! Just not every day. And no, not everything has to taste like pumpkin through the holiday season. Try and save your indulgences for when they really count, during the holiday gatherings and parties. That way, not only do you feel less guilty because you’ve already eaten 10 pieces of pumpkin pie since October, you won’t be burned out on the flavor. And besides, sharing these flavors with the ones they remind you of at the time that they remind you of will be a much more enriching and fulfilling experience. Give yourself space to really enjoy and experience these foods that bring back such heart-warming memories.

Strategy: These simple strategies will allow you to enjoy the foods you love at your holiday gatherings but will help you stay mindful and in control of the amount you are consuming throughout the day.


  • Have a plan: Write out a list of the foods or types of food that are ‘must haves’ for you and are typically a part of the gatherings you attend.
  • One Plate Rule: Pack one plate full of your 'must have' foods. But only one plate!
  • Don’t graze: This may be the most difficult part. It’s way too easy to just grab a cookie or a handful of whatever sweet thing is laying around all day. You can use the ‘one plate rule’ for this one too! Just make sure it’s a small desert plate, not a full dinner plate, and only fill it once between meals.
  • Add freshness: Be the one to bring the veggie plate this year! Add a side of fresh vegetables with to your meal (this is the Only exception to the one plate rule!).  Fresh veggies will help you feel fuller and support your digestive helpers (good gut bacteria) as you process the other rich and heavy foods.


Overall, it’s good to keep your holiday experience enjoyable and satisfying! Following the above strategies are not only good for your body but for your mind and your spirit as well. They will help you stay grounded when it comes to food and develop a sense of control over your appetite so it doesn’t become a distraction and limit your enjoyment of everything else that make the holidays so merry.

You can do this!