Manage Your Holiday Cravings

It’s tough to stick to a healthy eating plan when those around you are indulging. These five tricks will help you stay on track without alienating the not-so-healthy eaters in your life.

  • 1. Create a diversion.
  • Can’t enjoy a bite without whetting your appetite for the whole cake? You needn’t explain why you’re skipping dessert—just divert attention from your pass. As the serving dish goes around, strike up an amusing conversation or excuse yourself to make a phone call. Better yet, bring along a bag of veggie snacks and say you’re craving a handful of those instead. Making a fuss over food restraint often intensifies cravings, which can lead to overeating.
  • 2. Serve yourself.
  • Fill your plate with fruit or vegetables and protein. If you can’t prepare your own plate, there’s nothing wrong with asking the server for smaller portions.
  • 3. Monitor your pace.
  • In group settings, it’s easy to get caught up in an eating frenzy, subconsciously matching others plate-for-plate. You can prevent gorging by filling up a little beforehand. Make sure you arrive hydrated and have a small healthy snack (See Support Portal for recipes), or an apple so you aren’t as hungry.
    Watch out for drinks, too. Cocktails can pack up to 500 calories a glass. Sip slowly, one of our cocktail recipes or drink seltzer water with a slice of fruit to fancy it up. If your friends catch you empty-handed while they’re drinking, they’ll likely order another round.
  • 4. Praise healthy dishes.
  • You might think you’re being a polite dinner guest by saying you wish you could have some of that creamy artichoke dip. But it’s better to leave diet sabotage out of the conversation. It can make the cook feel bad about preparing food his or her guests can’t eat. Instead, shift your focus to the fresh fruit or veggie salad.
  • 5. Schedule an activity.
  • Don’t let food be the centerpiece of a social gathering. Get-togethers are often focused on eating, and if you’re distracted, nervous, or simply basking in how much you’re enjoying yourself, you’ll probably get carried away. Bringing a board game or some photos to a dinner party. Going for a walk after the meal is another good way to shift the focus away from the table. And you might sidestep the dessert dilemma altogether.


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