Holiday Eating, Drinking, and Merrymaking — the Sane Way


It’s that magical time of the year again. The holidays are upon us, and from Thanksgiving through New Year, it often seems like it’s one eating and drinking event after another. It’s also Winter, and for most parts of the country, the colder weather brings a natural desire to increase our “insulation”, particularly around the waistline. Putting on a little weight this time of year is not unexpected, and for most, those few extra pounds can be shed with a well thought out New Year’s resolution. The key is to certainly to enjoy yourself, but have some strategies to limit the “damage” of the excessive eating and drinking that can often accompany this time of thanks and celebration.

As always, you need to find what works for you. Start by understanding your weakness. Are you a dessert person? Is excessive alcohol an issue? Is it your appetite and the inability to limit your food intake when there are so many choices on the table?

Examine your thoughts around these issues. For example, did you feel entitled to a “reward” for having worked hard all year, and that leads to eating that huge piece of chocolate cake and the slice of cheesecake and half the dessert pastry. Well, there is nothing wrong with rewarding yourself, but remember, life (and good health) is about balance. Try setting some guidelines for yourself ahead of time. Commit to having only one dessert or limiting your alcohol at the party to only two drinks, drinking a glass of soda water in between. Plan ahead and schedule a little longer walk on the treadmill for the day after the party to burn off those extra calories. If possible share your guidelines with a friend or spouse who might be at the event, so they can support your efforts. There’s nothing wrong with a little help with self-control if it’s available. If the spouse or friend isn’t available, consider setting the alarm or event reminder on your cell phone to go off in the middle of the party. Use this as a reminder to stick to your guidelines and not over do it.

With a little extra planning and thought, you should be able to enjoy yourself to the fullest and not totally lose sight of your health related goals, or in other words, “Have your cake and eat it too.”
Happy, healthy holidays to you all!