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Give Up Dieting This Holiday Season

Shifting to a Healthy Lifestyle

Every year brings the same dilemma. You are on a “diet” and it’s the holidays. You plan to “be really good”, but the Halloween candy, pumpkin pie and Christmas cookies are too tempting. You break your “diet”, and then “who cares” sets in because it is only once a year…for 3 months. Eventually, you are faced with the difficult task of getting back on track.

You can get through the holidays and be healthy by using your mind as a guide, focusing on healthy eating 85-95% of the time. The goal is to keep focused and move forward every day. This is what a healthy lifestyle is all about. View each holiday event as having 4 parts; several days ahead, the day of, while you are there and afterward. Take positive steps in all stages.

Several Days Ahead…
 Offer to bring a healthy food.
 Change a holiday recipe to meet your health needs and share with your host.
 Get the menu in advance and decide what to have.
 Be the host, then you’ll know what healthy foods are available.
 Practice portion control.

The Day of…
 Do not skip meals so you can “pig out” later.
 Eat something small before going, so that you are not starved when you get there.
 Drink adequate water.
 Exercise before going.
 Wear clothes that fit snuggly as a physical reminder.

While You’re There…
 Do not stand by the food table. Circulate around the room.
 Have either appetizers or desserts.
 At appetizer & mealtime follow the one-plate rule…no seconds!
 Do non-food activities. Socialize, dance or talk.
 Have gravy, dressing, sauces & toppings on the side, and use only 1 spoonful.
 Drink a glass of water 20 minutes before you start eating.
 Use portion control.
 Slow-down. Take 20 minutes to eat, allowing time for your stomach to let your brain know it’s full.

Afterward…

1. Acknowledge the healthy actions you did take at each of the steps.
2. Accept that you did enjoy yourself; it’s okay to like food.
3. Complete this sentence “The next healthy thing I am going to do is ____________________”
4. Take action!

Give yourself a gift - stop dieting this holiday season and replace it with a healthy lifestyle. Recognize you won’t be perfect. And just keep moving forward.


Jennifer Giffune, RDN. is a freelance author, professional speaker and nutrition counselor. Jennifer sees clients for in-person nutrition counseling in Westfield and by phone or video. To make an appointment with Jennifer call (413) 579 – 5450 or email her at jen@jenthedietitian.com

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