5 tricks to a healthy holiday season without dieting

Posted November 13, 2016

Instead of focusing on dieting, try a few simple tips to enjoy the holiday season, the food and the company. No dieting, no restriction necessary. (Deseret Photo)

The holidays are supposed to be a fun time filled with loved ones, a bit of relaxation and delicious food. Unfortunately for many, preoccupation with sticking to a diet, preoccupation with how they look, or preoccupation from feeling left out during the best times makes the holidays less enjoyable.

Dieting culture tells people that they can’t have this, that they have to restrict that, but with such sacrifices yields great results: a hot bod. But dieting culture doesn’t tell people about the all too frequent bingeing post dieting, the long-lasting psychological ramifications and the difficulty to lose weight and actually keep it off while dieting.

Those are a few reasons why dieting sucks. For so many people, dieting doesn’t lead to improved health or self-acceptance, or even sustained weight loss. That’s a problem.

So instead of focusing on dieting, here are a few simple tips to enjoy the season, the food and the company. No dieting, no restriction necessary.

  1. Veggies first. This is hands down the most beneficial tip. Fill up on fiber and water-rich vegetables, then move on to the higher-calorie foods. This is a simple way to moderate your intake and not feel deprived.
  2. Focus on your company. Instead of being preoccupied with what you’re eating, or how much you’re eating, focus your attention on your loved ones. Focus on conversation and you’ll be eating more slowly. Eating more slowly often leads to eating less since it takes time for our brains to get the message that our stomachs are filled.
  3. Use simple food swaps. Lighten up your favorite holiday foods with these simple changes. Check out Four Foolproof Food Swaps to Eat Healthier for easy swaps.
  4. Get active. Plan a fun group activity focusing on movement. Movement or exercise is beneficial for your mood, your stress levels, your heart, your blood sugar levels and so many other aspects of your health. Incorporate a pick-up game of flag football, a race, a walk, or any other fun group activity to get adults and kids moving.
  5. Give yourself some slack. There’s no such thing as perfect eating. You quite possibly may eat more than you plan, you may even eat until you’re uncomfortably full. Instead of stressing about it and getting down on yourself. Recognize how you feel and move forward. Dwelling on guilt or regret will do nothing to help you reach your health goals. It actually will likely do the opposite. Stress makes weight loss, blood sugar control, heart health, and happiness more difficult. Be grateful, not stressed.


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