How to Beat the Holiday Weight Gain Odds
From 'food pushers' to parties that tempt your senses, here's how to overcome holiday diet temptations.
Making a Plan to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain continued...
"So often, overeating is connected to a primitive, emotional place
inside us, and we just mindlessly start eating," says Muller. "So one
of the strategies would be to cultivate mindfulness: Keep bringing yourself
back to the here and now, notice what's in your hand, notice what's on your
plate, and pay attention to what you are eating."
Huberman says you can also go party-by-party, with a plan for each event:
"You can limit the number of dishes you will eat, limit how much you will
eat at each course, limit yourself to the three foods you absolutely love the
most. The key is to put parameters around how much you will consume, and then
stick to your plan."
Don't Let 'Food Pushers' Lead to Holiday Weight Gain
Despite your best laid plans, your holiday food goals can still go awry
thanks to "food pushers" – friends, family members, and co-workers who
refuse to take "no" for an answer when they're offering fattening
"These are the people who, for whatever reason, seem to believe that
their holiday celebration just isn't complete until they get you to give in to
their food weaknesses," says Huberman.
From that co-worker with the bottomless cookie jar, to Mom and Great-Aunt
Sue with their pecan pies and zillion-carb stuffing, to the hostess who won't
let you leave her house before you wolf down a plate of diet-busting treats,
even well-meaning friends and family can drag you into the Diet Twilight
The easiest way out? Just say "no" -- over and over and over,
the experts say.
"We call this the broken record technique," says Huberman. "If
you continue to politely refuse the food pusher, eventually they will stop
pushing you. You don't have to be rude, but you do have to be firm."
Beck adds that we should feel entitled to do what is good for us.
"If you were refusing food because of an allergy or for religious
reasons, you wouldn't think twice about saying 'no' and sticking to it,"
Beck says. "So give yourself that same sense of entitlement when you say
'no' to something because you are protecting your good health."
There's no need for lots of explanation about why you don't want to eat
something. You don't even have to mention the word "diet."
"It's really OK to just say 'No, thank you -- it smells divine, but I'm
really full.' You don't have to offer more explanation than that," says
If you simply can't get away without accepting something fattening on your
plate, Muller says, accept it. Then, just walk into the next room and dump
"Just because it's on your plate or in your hand," she says,
"doesn't mean you have to eat it."