Do you love the holiday and all the food, but feel like you have to deprive yourself or risk gaining ten pounds? Have you hit a stride with losing weight and do not want the holiday meal to throw you off track? Do you want to lose weight, but feel like giving up so you can just enjoy all the yummy food? You can have the best of both worlds. Enjoy all the delicious food and lose weight at the same time. Here are three super-simple tips to help you meet your goals…

1) Chew Gum

Seriously, it is this easy. Chewing gum on the holiday before AND after the meal will help you resist temptation to nibble before, go for seconds after, and graze on desserts and leftovers. It will put a literal obstacle in place that makes you stop and think consciously because you’d have to spit out your gum and that time to think is enough to remind you of your goals.

2) Wear a Tighter Belt or Tighter Clothes

This may not sound super comfortable, but it will work. It is another subliminal way to keep you mentally focused on not overeating so you can enjoy a little bit of everything, but be discouraged from too much. We all remember Joey Tribiani’s proverbial “fat pants” and they certainly do the job for someone who has that metabolism that allows them to eat anything and burn it off immediately, but most of us are not that fortunate. For the majority of us, that “flexibility” is something we would be all too tempted to put to good use.

3) Pregame with a Protein Bar

The goal on the holidays with the food is to enjoy it, right? So it is not about quantity. It is about quality and variety. In reality, the less quantity, the more we enjoy the food. See my article 1,2 Bite for more on this. A good way to prevent overeating is to moderate your hunger level by eating a protein bar and having a full glass of water within an hour or so of the meal. When you are less hungry, you will focus more on having a smaller amount of each food and it will be easier to only have one plate.

Decide in advance not to go back for seconds. Also, remember, if you are cooking/preparing the food, what my friend Kim Freel calls “BLTs” are often the most insidious offenders. It is the bites, licks and tastes that add up to a heaping spoonful of extra calories that are better saved for mealtime. Let the kids do the taste testing!

Enjoying holiday food with no deprivation,

Nikola Rosa