9 Tips To A Stress And Guilt-Free Holiday Season


The holidays are full of joy, laughter, cheer… and indulgences. This can be a stressful time full of choices and feelings of guilt for those who are watching what they are eating, or managing their weight. However, with a few key tips, the holidays can be both stress and guilt-free, full of joy and healthy indulgences.

Tip #1: Do not show up hungry.
Typically, on holidays, meal time is anywhere between 3 PM and 6 PM, so instead of ‘waiting until the party’, go about your day as you normally would, with a healthy breakfast and a light snack just before leaving. Eating ahead of time will help curb any cravings and give you proper nutrition, early on.

Tip #2: Offer to bring a dish
Offering to bring a side dish or dessert, will give you the control to make something healthy, that you also enjoy.

Tip #3: It’s a holiday, not an eating contest
The person who can eat the most food is NOT the winner. Be conscious of what you are choosing to put on your plate, and look at all of your options beforehand. What do you really enjoy but don’t have often? What do you have often, that you can probably skip? (hint: it’s most likely the bread and butter).
Plan to add a protein (light hand on the gravies and sauces), vegetables and a starch. Do not overfill your plate, but eat what you serve yourself, and drink a full glass of water. Then, wait 10 minutes before deciding if you are still hungry for more.

Tip #4: Walk away from the table
Grazing is something we do mindlessly that can really increase the calories around the holidays. If you find yourself mindlessly picking at the appetizer or dessert tables, get a glass of water, remove yourself and sit in another room.  Distracting yourself will help ward off cravings.

Tip #5: Take your time eating.
This tip is tried and true. Chew slowly and thoroughly, making your meal take at least 20 minutes to eat, which is how long the stomach takes to send signals to the brain that it’s full.

Tip #6: Watch your alcohol consumption.
Not only is alcohol empty calories, but it can inhibit your judgment of when to stop eating as well as lead to increased mindless nibbling. For every alcoholic drink, have 1 glass of water. Limit creamy drinks such as eggnog, which is high in calories, fat and saturated fat.

Tip #7: Enjoy dessert, but still be mindful.
You can have dessert! It is important to remember to not deny yourself too much, because that can lead to overindulgence.  If you are really craving pumpkin pie, take a small piece. If you love those homemade cookies your friend makes, choose this and take one. Be sure to remain in control of your choices, and enjoy in moderation.

Tip #8: Take a walk
Just 10 minutes of light activity will help aid digestion and keep you from feeling bloated. Fight the urge to sit more, and get outside for some fresh air. This will also remove you from the food and drinks, and bring you back to self-control.

Tip #9:  Enjoy yourself
You can enjoy yourself without needing to stress about the holidays. Go into this special time of year with a game-plan, remember your goals and let your friends and family know about them. Vocalizing your health and weight loss goals will help you build a stronger support team when you need it the most.

You may also schedule a consultation with the HAWA Nutritionist to work on a plan for you!