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How to get through the holidays without blowing up your diet

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These 8 tips will help you enjoy yourself at all the upcoming Christmas and New Year's parties.

We are already deep into December, a special month full of joy and love. But during Christmas, along with the celebrations with families, there are also the New Year’s get-togethers with friends and the office parties. These are events that take a lot of preparations, gifts, and of course — food.

If we’ve been trying — successfully or not — to lose weight over the past year, we naturally worry about how to keep our good habits over the holidays. The good news is, we don’t have to throw all those habits out, or stay home from the parties. With a little discipline, we can keep it under control by following these tips:

Physical activity

Don’t stop exercising during party season. It’s the key to burning extra calories. If you don’t have time, you can do a fast walk, or go up and down the stairs whenever you have the chance.

Don’t drink too much alcohol

Leave the alcoholic drinks just for the toast; they are empty calories. Instead, drink water — with or without bubbles, or flavored with natural fruit juices without added sugar.

To control your appetite

Eat something light before leaving for a party, like an apple, so that you don’t arrive hungry and eat more than you intended.

Options for eating out

If you go to a restaurant, chose the healthiest dishes. It may be a vegetable soup, grilled meat, or salad … but avoid going overboard with the sauces or dressings. Order salads or vegetables as your side with your entree.

Small amounts of desserts

Choose fruit, a ball of ice cream, or a small portion of pie as your dessert.

Light food before and after the party

If you already know the date of an event, make sure your meals beforehand are light, based on vegetables, chicken or fish, and non-greasy food, but without skipping any meals. You can follow the same plan for the day after.

Don’t miss meals

It’s not better to stop eating just because you’ll eat at the party. It will likely backfire and you’ll end up eating double at the party to satiate your hunger.

Divert your attention

Don’t let food be the center of attention. Instead, focus on your social activity and the people you’re sharing the experience with, whether it’s a family members, colleagues, or friends.

You can enjoy all the meals, but don’t go overboard; eat moderately

Pay attention to not just the quantity but the quality of what you eat.

Also, sometimes it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that “it’s only once a year, no big deal,” but we shouldn’t use food as a prize or punishment. We should value the effort we make to change our eating habits.

And remember: the best part about the holidays is the people you spend it with, so focus on them and enjoy yourself!

This article was originally published in the Spanish edition of Aleteia and has been translated and/or adapted here for English speaking readers.

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