We’re in the thick of the holiday season, a time when many of us struggle to stick to our healthy habits. With all of the extra treats and disruption in our routines, it feels like every day is a cheat day!
It may be tempting to decide that you’ll just throw in the towel and pick up the pieces on January 1st. But today I have a few time-tested strategies that can help keep things from feeling quite so out of control.
Holiday Tip #1: Cultivate your inner food snob
I’m not talking about being hyper-critical or looking down your nose at anyone—that’s not in the holiday spirit! But with so many treats and indulgences around, we can afford to be—and really, we need to be—extra choosy about which ones we’re going to enjoy.
If anything, our standards should be higher than usual at this time of year given the overabundance of options.
For example, there’s a lot of cheap chocolate around at this time of year. And just because it’s wrapped in green and red foil instead of silver doesn’t actually make it taste any better. I don’t eat cheap chocolate at other times of the year. I hold out for the good stuff and eat it in small quantities. But for some reason, my normally high standards seemed to fall apart as soon as the tiny chocolate santas hit the scene. I’ve learned to be on guard against this effect and remind myself that, if anything, my standards should be higher than usual at this time of year, given the overabundance of options.
By the same token, if someone has gone to the trouble of making egg nog from scratch, I might enjoy some. Sure, it’s crazy high in sugar and calories, but homemade egg nog is a rare treat. On the other hand, I would never waste the calories on egg nog out of the carton, even if it means I go the whole season without any. No big loss.
Now, if you genuinely love tiny chocolate santas or eggnog out of the carton, then this is your chance to enjoy them … in moderation. Just remember to pass on those treats that you don’t actually enjoy that much.
I can hear some of you saying, “But, Monica, the problem is that I love all of these treats! There are none that I don’t enjoy!”
Pick the ones that are the least ubiquitous to be your special treat. Let their rarity be part of the appeal.
In that case, decide which of them you love the best. Or, if you really can’t rank them, pick the ones that are the least ubiquitous to be your special treat. Let their rarity be part of the appeal. For example, you’ll probably be going to more parties than usual—office parties, family get-togethers, neighborhood gatherings. There...