The holiday season is now in full swing! Let the joy, merriment, and parties begin! Let the drinks and party appetizers flow! Let the music play!
(4 hours later…) Oh man, why did I have so much friggin’ (beer/chocolate/dessert/insert vice-of-choice here)??
Ah, welcome to holiday-indulgence-remorse, the holiday season equivalent of buyer’s remorse.
There are lots of things experts recommend avoid this remorse…everything from drinking tons of water before a party to fill up your belly, to simply avoiding eating the not-so-healthy food altogether.
In case you couldn’t tell, I’m not an expert. So what I offer is merely a suggestion. However, it is one that has allowed me to enjoy the best of both worlds – both a taste of indulgence that is unique to the holiday season, but also in a restrained way that also forces me to “eat my veggies,” so to speak. (Literally.)
I believe some people refer to this as the “crowd-out” approach. It’s pretty simple, actually…and some of you perhaps practice this approach routinely, so this may not be new to you. When you go to a party or gathering, load up on the healthy food first: Get your plate full of veggies, fruit, and yes, have a glass (or two or three) of water throughout the evening. Eat plentiful amounts of these items first. That way, you get a solid dose of fiber to curb your appetite so you don’t overindulge on the less healthy stuff, PLUS you get a large dose of vitamins and other nutrients to keep your energy up. THEN, once you’ve filled your belly with the healthy items, go for the less-healthy stuff – but take a little at a time. That way, you don’t feel obligated to eat the four cookies you picked up, even though you would have been satisfied with two cookies. You can always go back for more later 🙂
While this approach may seem like the eating equivalent of saying “bah humbug” at a holiday party, it doesn’t require you to abstain from the indulgent things you’d like to eat! It just asks that you load up on the healthier items first, until you’re reasonably full. Then, you can eat the less healthy items – and you will likely not eat as much because you will already be close to full!
Give it a try at your next holiday party and let us know how it works out! Or, if you have other ideas for keeping the indulgence at bay, please share in the comments!