Leyla Weighs In: Don’t let the holidays derail your healthy eating habits

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| By Leyla Muedin MS, RD, CDN

Sometimes the best way to stick to a diet plan is to break all the rules. Yes, that’s just what I said. The holidays are a perfect time to help you stick to your diet. You just have to follow this simple rule: For that particular holiday meal or occasion, you will eat whatever you like. The very next day, you get right back on your program as if nothing ever happened. No guilt or remorse permitted.

Leyla Weighs In: Don’t let the holidays derail your healthy eating habitsSince you will be “allowed” to eat these special occasion foods (holiday goose, pumpkin pie, fruit cake, etc.), you won’t feel deprived. Feeling deprived is what increases the reward value of the food you’re missing. This strategy takes care of that.

Makes sense, right? We also do away with this negative self-talk: “I just completely blew my diet so I might as well continue to gorge.” You’re not blowing it. You’re having a holiday meal. That’s all. Discard the drama.

If you are hosting, have your guests bring a Tupperware or any other suitable storage container they can use to carry away all those tempting goodies. Make sure every last nibble goes out the door. Out of sight, out of mind! This way, your sumptuous holiday meal doesn’t turn into an all weekend feast.

Are you receiving a lot of sweet treats as gifts (box of chocolates, etc.)? You don’t have to eat them to show your love and appreciation. Pay it forward. Make donations to your local food bank or soup kitchen. They will really appreciate it, and your waistline will thank you, too!

Now go enjoy your holiday meals and treats, and the very next day, get right back on program. Breaking the rules on occasion is good for the soul.

Remember that the perfect is the enemy of the good. Life is not all or nothing. Most importantly, enjoy these special times with your loved ones. Savor your time together and have fun!

Wishing you a Joyful Holiday Season!

As you may know, I’ve been doing a weekly “Q&A with Leyla” podcast feature with Dr. Hoffman. Now you can get my perspective and expertise every Friday on my own episode of the Intelligent Medicine Podcast. If you missed last week’s, you can listen here. To be sure you don’t miss out on any of my important insights and information, subscribe today!

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