Stick To Your Diet During The Holidays
The holidays are coming and soon those of us that are dieting will be challenged with trying to maintain our diets throughout the holidays. We start around Halloween, and start thinking about Halloween candy, and then our thoughts progress on to Thanksgiving, Christmas, and then New Years, and all the parties in between.
How do we handle it all? Do we fast the whole week before Thanksgiving so we have less guilt? Do we not eat at all? What a predicament!
Personally, I am no fan of fasting and I don’t go without eating. I feel the same way about crash diets. I’m also more likely to go ahead and enjoy certain days without the guilt. I generally plan the big holidays like Thanksgiving or Christmas Day (whenever we decide to eat the big meal) to go ahead and eat. New Years Day is up in the air: I like to start the New Year on the right foot, so to speak, so I don’t usually feel the need to go nuts on the first day of the year.
You can try drinking water and eating a snack full of protein before you start on a holiday feast. The water thing doesn’t work for me – never has. But eating a snack before cooking dinner or going to dinner or party may help to keep you from sampling the food before you sit down to eat.
If you’re going to someone’s house, offer to bring something and bring a vegetable or fruit tray. You can choose the veggies, and you can choose the dip to bring – and make it low fat. In this manner you can go ahead and snack a little without guilt, and the other dieters will appreciate it as well. Include Triscuits on the tray – Triscuits are 100% whole wheat, they have fiber and taste good too.
I tend to cook low fat without thinking about it, and there are a lot of ways you can cook and make every thing lower in fat without taking away the taste. I use a lot of broth: chicken broth and ham broth. For instance, pole beans are in season around Thanksgiving, and we all love them. I’ll cook the beans in ham flavoring, and I will use a little bit of ham to add to the flavor. The ham is for the people who aren’t dieting – I don’t have to eat it. I make a lot of beans, and eat them throughout the week.
Make sure to include vegetables along with your Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. You can eat the vegetables instead of the stuffing, although I would go ahead and eat the stuffing – it’s not every day you get to eat stuffing! One year, I forget to add butter to the stuffing, and only used chicken broth. Nobody noticed the difference, it was that good!
Dessert can be my downfall. I love pumpkin pie or apple pie loaded with Cool Whip. Heck, just give me a spoon, the bowl of Cool Whip and some Hershey’s syrup and I’m happy. Get an angel food cake and drizzle some Hershey’s syrup or some strawberries on top can satisfy the sweet tooth. Throw in some low fat or no fat whipped cream too.
Just because the holidays are in sight doesn’t mean it’s time throw up your hands and give up on the diet. You can still have fun and enjoy holiday parties and food with a bit of judgment and caution.
Keep an eye out for food that is low in fat and substitute the low fat for high fat. Eat as you normally would on a daily basis – then if you do decide to splurge, you won’t have pigged out on everything you lay eyes on. The next day, go right back on your plan and don’t give it a second thought. Most important: don’t beat yourself up even if you do blow it. Just get back on track the next day.