What to do when you’re tempted by the trays of tasty treats this holiday season…

Candy lineupWhen you’re focused on losing weight, the holidays can be a tough time. Food, food, everywhere! When there are platters and platters loaded up with tasty treats in front of you, how do you stay in control, instead of feeling like a slave to food?

I found myself in this situation last week, and it was rough. I had a lot of tempting choices in front of me – things that I don’t buy myself at the grocery store, and so each one seemed a novelty.

Many of us decide to take a “holiday” over the holidays, putting the diet on pause. But this often leads to a few extra pounds – with a hefty side of guilt.

So when the trays of tasty treats tempt you, what can you do?

Start by being mindful. Did you know that the average person eats 75% more calories when dining in a large group? It’s actually pretty easy to do – there’s an abundance of food, people encouraging you to have “a little of this” or “more of that,” and most of us have been trained to finish the food on our plate. Plus, we’re paying attention to what’s going on around us, and not what (or how much) we’re eating. Just tuning in to what you’re eating, and how much, will help you stay in control.

A second way to fight the urge to indulge is to question what you really want. Remember, the main dish of the holidays is joy – food is only a side. This is a time to reconnect with friends and family. So when you crave nourishment from that tasty pecan pie, ask yourself what will nourish your soul, instead of your stomach. Maybe it’s a great conversation with a sibling, or maybe you should call that friend in town that you haven’t seen lately.

Finally, you might decide to allow yourself the tasty treat. Does this mean you should gobble it down and then go for another? Not at all. Instead, decide how much you want, put it on your plate, and (if you can), move away from the dish to avoid the temptation of having more. When you eat the treat, really ENJOY it! Take small bites. Savor it, make it last. Notice the texture in your mouth. Chew it for a while before you swallow it. You’d be surprised how the initial flavor can change, becoming richer and deeper.

How do you stay in charge over the holidays, instead of letting yourself be ruled by food? Share your thoughts below!

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