Dieting During the Holidays

Elizabeth Connolly
Elizabeth Connolly
Elizabeth Connolly

Dieting during the holidays is a tricky balance. Staying on track is not as easy when you have added pressure from your family and an endless amount of treats right in front of you. Often times as well, we hold emotional attachments to these holiday foods and associate some of our favorite memories of the holidays, with food. With the holidays already underway, we came up with this list of ways to dodge the pressure to overeat.  

Why Did You Start?

In all honesty, remembering why you started the diet in the first place may be what it takes for you to stay on point during the holidays. Do you have to eat completely perfect? Absolutely not, but making sure you don't go overboard might be easier with a little bit of a reminder from yourself. You started this diet because you wanted a change. Change is not the most comfortable process and will never be. Change requires real effort and allowing yourself to feel uncomfortable for a little bit. You do not have to give up everything for this diet, but be honest with yourself. You will not get the results you desire if you are not willing to make the needed changes.

Plan Ahead

You may have heard the saying a time or two but, failure to prepare really is preparing to fail. If you know that you are easily influenced by your surroundings, make your surroundings more comfortable for you. Bring an appetizer or dish, as well as a healthier dessert option to the party. Knowing you have food you can rely on will help you moderate your overall intake. Planning ahead on the holidays will allow you the maxium amount of stability for your diet while still allowing you to indulge a little. 


Try To Avoid Going Overboard 

It can be hard to find a balance between dieting and enjoying the holidays. Above, we discussed the importance of planning ahead. However, it can be important to acknowledge just how many calories can be in traditional holiday meals, just incase you find yourself tempted to go overboard. 

Calories from Drinks:

  • A glass of Champagne= 95 calories
  • A glass of Mulled Wine= 103 calories
  • A glass of Boozy Eggnog= 406 calories
  • A cup of Hot Chocolate w/ Peppermint Schnapps =641 calories

Calories from Appetizers:

  • A serving from a Cheese Plate= 500 calories
  • 4 Pigs in a Blanket= 380 calories
  • 2 Deviled Eggs= 126 calories
  • A serving of Spinach & Artichoke Dip w/ Tortilla Chips= 400 calories

Calories from Entrees: 

  • A serving of Mashed Potatoes & Gravy= 237 calories
  • 6oz of Ham= 313 calories
  • 2 Crescent Rolls= 200 calories
  • 1 cup of Stuffing= 352 calories

Calories from Desserts: 

  • 3 pieces of Fudge= 270 calories
  • 1 slice of Pecan Pie= 456 calories
  • 3 pieces of Milk Chocolate English Toffee Bar= 630 calories

If you were to consume this entire list, which is not out of the ordinary for many, you would be consuming a whopping 5,109 calories in just one meal! That could easily offset your entire diet. So it is very important to remind yourself of this if you do feel tempted to go overboard. 


Enjoying Traditions Without Breaking Your Diet

Now, if you would like to enjoy your holidays without completely wrecking your diet, there are ways to do that! Picking and choosing what exactly to indulge in is a major key to ensuring that you do not go overboard!

An example day of eating that wont throw off your diet during the holidays:

  • Breakfast before the festivities: 4 Egg whites, 2 pieces of Turkey Bacon, a bowl of oatmeal (Total breakfast calories: 278)
  • Lunch: Many people opt for an early dinner and skip lunch on the holidays but if you do plan on having lunch, make sure you keep it relatively conservative in calories 
  • For an Appetizer: Bring a veggie plate with artichoke dip (1 serving is 100 cals), as well as have two deviled eggs (Total appetizer calories: 226)
  • For Dinner: Fill up half the plate with green salad (bring it if you must), have a serving of mashed potatoes, have a few slices of Ham or Turkey, and have a crescent roll (Total dinner calories: 580)
  • For a drink (optional): Choose a vodka soda with lime (70 cals) or a glass of red wine (120 cals)
  • For Dessert: Load up on a healthier dessert you brought (example: Apple Crisp recipe here) and indulge in one smaller treat such as 2 pieces of fudge (Total dessert calories: 383) 

Total Daily Intake: 1,587 calories


The Most Important Thing

Arguably, the most important thing is to remember that one day will not entirely offset everything you have worked for. Getting right back to your diet, even after a day of slightly veering from it, is what will make all the difference. It is really easy to let the holidays turn into a domino effect of poor eating decisions, but remember why you started! Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishments. Stay focused! 

If you want a litle extra help getting back to your diet after the holiday season, check out these healthy ready-to-eat meals! 



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