Don't Let the Holiday Blues Derail Your Diet
Keep your good cheer (and your weight-loss plan) intact
Take Charge continued...
Avoiding social events can just sink you farther into the holiday blues. So
if you're shy at parties, go prepared with some small talk.
"It's the concept of 'the elevator speech': a 60-second spiel about
yourself, maybe about your job or your recent trip to England, or
whatever," says Wallin. "Or ask other people about themselves. Comment
on what they're wearing, on the flashy earrings, on what you're eating. Talk
about anything. Parties aren't about what you say, they're about relating to
And go early. "When only a few people have arrived, it might be easier
to talk," Wallin says. "Plan how long you'll stay, maybe half an hour.
You don't have to stay for two hours.
When you're feeling low and tempted to blow your diet, focus on taming your
"When we feel sorry for ourselves, we rationalize pigging out,"
Wallin says. "I call that voice inside the 'inner brat'; the part of you
that wants it now! "If you can visualize that inner brat, even give it a
name, think of it as a 4-year-old child, you're getting it under control,"
says Wallin. "Who's the boss, the brat or you? Let the brat eat one cookie,
then say, 'That'll do you.' Wait 10 minutes, do something else, and see if the
brat still wants another cookie. You might be surprised; you may not want
After you've had that holiday treat, get moving, advises Sheah Rarback, MS,
RD/LD, a dietitian with the University of Miami School of Medicine.
"Have that one cookie, then take a walk," she says. "You're
indulging the urge, plus getting double endorphins from the cookie and the
Walking also mutes cravings that come from boredom, Rarback tells WebMD:
"If you get out and walk, you won't crave food as much."
Exercise is a major weapon against both the holiday blues and holiday
binges, she says. "Both food and exercise increase the level of feel-good
brain chemicals, which makes you calmer and decreases anxiety," she
The typical comfort-food meal -- high in carbohydrates with a little protein
-- is an excellent feel-good combination (the protein helps keep you feeling
full longer), Rarback adds. But "comfort" doesn't have to mean