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Dec. 21, 2010
5 Simple Holiday Eating Tips
An advertisement for a holiday eating nutrition seminar recently came across my Clif Bar desk. It read, "Holiday Eating Survival: Worried about holiday over eating? Dreading the physical exhaustion and food remorse that seems to flow from November to January?"

Pumpkin Pie!

A few key words jumped off the page and bit me in the stomach: survival, worry, dread, exhaustion and finally, remorse. As an advocate for great tasting, healthy food that can be enjoyed and shared, I was disturbed to read that holiday eating could cause these feelings.

I wondered how prevalent it was to see the word “survival” associated with holiday eating; and so I asked the Google machine. It spat out 129,000 hits containing the language “Holiday Eat Survival.” When did holiday eating become something you must “survive”?

You survive a desert for days with no food or water; you survive being lost at sea; or you survive living on the streets. You do not survive a meal that brings you together with family and friends. Perhaps it is our obsession with weight that has us all nervous.

Holiday celebrations bring us together around a common interest (need), FOOD. It is intensely personal when someone invites you into their home and cooks for you, and you shouldn’t look at it as if you are preparing for battle.

Your hosts are sharing a piece of themselves. OK, so maybe Grandma thinks you're too skinny and yearns to fatten you up, or maybe your Aunt Lucy refuses to acknowledge your vegetarianism.

Of course, proceed with caution into these environments and bring something to contribute to the meal that you know you can eat. Take note that I am not advocating for a gluttonous pig-out, but I am saying be a gracious guest and don’t over think an “eating strategy” to get through Christmas dinner when you are under Grandma’s roof.

Give yourself some wiggle room and let yourself enjoy the scrumptious meals of the season. At the company holiday party, don’t expend too much energy agonizing over how many appetizers you ate or how you should’ve skipped that decadent red velvet cheese cake. Enjoy the event and know you won’t be eating another piece anytime soon.

I am sure you would all agree that if you could enjoy the tastes of the holidays without putting on weight, well, that just might be heaven. I am here to say you can. Here are some suggestions that might help you embrace holiday eating rather than just survive it.

  • 1. Move it - Like the postal person – rain, shine, sleet, or snow – get out and enjoy some exercise

  • 2. Be selective - Not all holiday treats are that good, really, so skip some

  • 3. Take in the scene! - Pause before you devour every bite on your plate and enjoy the conversation, the table setting, or just good people watching

  • 4. Don’t go hungry! - Eat an organic apple before heading to the party so your hunger monster doesn’t take over at the buffet

  • 5. Eat breakfast! - Skipping meals saves neither time nor calories at the end of the day

Posted by:
Tara, the RD
Food Matters

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We like getting our heart rates up, taking a big breath of fresh air, savoring delicious food. But we also love telling stories and here's where we type 'em up. (BTW, it works both ways; leave a comment—please and thank you.)

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