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How to Ignore Food Temptations over the Holiday Season

Box of Cookies for the Neigborsphoto © 2008 Amy | more info (via: Wylio)So it begins… that Thanksgiving to New Year’s stretch. Doesn’t it seem that every day a co-worker is putting leftovers from their parties in the break room? Or that every where you turn you are being invited to Holiday Parties, Cocktail Hours, and other seasonal events. Here are a few tips on handling the holiday season without entirely derailing your fitness regime.

1. Exercise. No seriously, exercise. Make this a priority during your holiday season. It must be a daily appointment with yourself. Not only will this help to keep you more mindful of the food that is going in your mouth but it will relieve the stress of the holidays. Can’t get your usual full workout in? Do something! Run the stairs at work during lunch instead of checking out the treats in the break room. There are always options.

2. Eat before you go to the work Christmas party. There are several reasons for this. First, if you eat before you go and get caught up talking to your boss while having a cocktail in hand… the alcohol won’t go to your head before you get a chance to snag a passing appetizer. We all know those people at the holiday party… let’s not go for that. Secondly, if you eat a healthy choice at home you will be significantly less tempted to grab fattening appetizers or dinner options.  Third, having eaten before, you are more full, and can take your time looking what is on menu for the evening and selecting the things that you do wish to splurge on and those that you wish to forego.

3. Look for proteins.  Try to stick your snacking to foods with high protein levels. Even if they are fattier than you usually eat, it is generally a better option than say, cheese pizza.

4. Look for whole foods. Try to stick to foods with the least amount of ingredients in them. Head for the veggie table and try to skip the sauce. Look for dishes that are made with whole healthy foods and less of the refined sugars. High fiber content is key as well!

5. If you really want to splurge, then splurge. But plan for it. Eat light meals all day and exercise with the understanding that this is a treat meal and that you will be back on track the next day. Also, if you have four holiday parties to attend in a week… pick the ones that are splurges and the ones that you will socialize and drink seltzer with a lime at. It is all about choices!

6. Don’t go. Yes, you heard that correctly. Will your relationship with your best friend’s brother’s girlfriend really be ruined if you don’t make the party? If you are inundated with holiday parties, then say no. It is a quality that many of us do not have and we should most definitely learn. It is ok to say no to engagements that will be too hard, too stressful, too tiring. Prioritize the parties and choose the ones that make the most sense for you. Last minute weakness? Plead off being sick and stay home. It will do wonders for your heart and soul during this stressful season. Remember, a good night’s sleep is infinitely better for  you than random conversations with acquaintances.

7. Leftover food in the break room? Still can’t quite get away from the party even if you didn’t go? Ignore it. One firm that I used to work with would send out emails letting everyone know when and where there were treats. As if not going to the break room wasn’t enough? Now you get instant emails about root beer floats on 12? Delete. Come to work prepared and knowing that THERE WILL BE TREATS. Just accept it. Plan ahead so that you can pop in some yummy gum when you get a craving, or have healthy snacks on hand. You are in control and sometimes, the best way to handle these situations is being prepared in advance.

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