November and December are tempting in every which way when it comes to dining. Between family meals, holiday parties and all of the treats that are bound to find their way into your office and home, the odds of overindulging and consequently packing on a few extra pounds are at their highest. I have a few rules of thumb I try to follow throughout Thanksgiving, December holidays and New Year’s Eve so that I can kick off the New Year on the right foot.
First off, apply the same rule to fruitcakes, Christmas cookies and other seasonal treats that you would to your Halloween candy — share! There is nothing wrong with “re-gifting” these sweets — to your doorman, your manicurist, your babysitter. Spread the joy!
I like to begin Thanksgiving Day with a good, sweaty workout — with friends or family, if possible. I actually don’t even care for Thanksgiving food. I know I’m in the minority there, but luckily my little sister feels the same way, so we inevitably end up sneaking out at some point for something more satisfying. I find that waking up and exercising sets a good tone for the day as well as the rest of the year. I’m less likely to overindulge when remembering the hard work I put in that morning.
I may not celebrate Christmas (because I’m Jewish), but I’m hardly eating Hanukkah dinner at Weight Watchers. It’s a meal about oil — potato pancakes for dinner and donuts for dessert. What could be bad? Well, all of it, technically. Every year, my family throws a small Hanukkah party and we go all out. The seven other nights, I eat like it’s any old day. That single indulgence is so worth it. Having it just once a year keeps it special and makes the food taste that much better.
When it comes to holiday parties, I try to be logical. I eat a big bowl of green salad with a light dressing at home beforehand, which helps to fill me up. At the shindig, I indulge carefully. For instance, I know I can have cheese and crackers any old time of year, but my mom makes her baked brown sugar salami only around the holidays. Splurge on what you can’t normally have. Stop eating when you’re full, and don’t punish yourself afterward. It’s the holiday season; we all deserve a little treat.
Remember the most popular New Year resolutions are usually related to health in some way — lose weight, exercise more, eat better. Why not get a head start? There’s no need to wait until Jan. 1 to focus on your health and happiness!