Mastering Special Events

The holiday season is a time of joy, celebration, and, unfortunately for many, a potential derailing of carefully maintained diets.


Thanksgiving, in particular, often serves as the starting point for a series of festive gatherings laden with delicious yet carb-laden treats. Navigating this culinary minefield can be challenging, as the combination of food addiction and social pressure can send even the most disciplined lifestyles to a graveyard.


Food addiction, characterized by an uncontrollable urge to consume certain foods, poses a significant threat during the holidays. Traditional dishes laden with sugars and refined carbohydrates can trigger addictive responses, leading to overeating and potential setbacks in one’s dietary goals. Moreover, social pressures to indulge in festive treats, coupled with the fear of judgment for abstaining, create a challenging environment for those trying to adhere to a healthy eating plan.


Strategies for Success:


Focus on Protein: fill up on proteins before you go and when you get there. Stick to the charcuterie board for appetizer and turkey and green beans for your entree. Being full with good foods can decrease how much dessert you have room for.


Mindful Eating: Be conscious of what you eat during holiday gatherings. Slow down, savor each bite, and pay attention to hunger and fullness cues. Ask yourself, why am I eating? Am I really hungry?


Plan Ahead: Anticipate the menu at holiday events and plan your choices in advance. Consider bringing a dish that aligns with your dietary preferences, ensuring there are options that work for you.


Limit Triggering Foods: Identify foods that trigger overconsumption or cravings and make a conscious effort to limit their presence at holiday gatherings. This may involve communicating your dietary needs to hosts or choosing smaller portions of such items.


Bring Your Own Dessert: If desserts are a weakness, consider bringing a dessert that is low glycemic and less addictive. This way, you can enjoy a sweet treat without compromising your dietary goals.


Stay Hydrated: Drinking water before and during holiday meals can help control hunger and prevent mindless snacking. Consider some tea and hot coffee. I don’t go to any social event without a coffee in my hand.


Seek Support: Communicate your dietary goals with friends and family, enlisting their support. Having allies can make it easier to resist temptations and stay on track. Having allies is the one of the strongest predictor of maintaining a diet and losing weight. If you don’t have a community join our meetings and small groups!


Engage in Physical Activity: Incorporate physical activity into your holiday routine. Whether it’s a brisk walk after a meal or a pre-feast workout, staying active can help you back into ketosis and reinforce your commitment to a healthy lifestyle.


Maintaining a diet during the holidays is undoubtedly challenging, given the temptations and social expectations surrounding festive gatherings. However, with a strategic approach, individuals can navigate this period without sacrificing their health and wellness goals. By being mindful of food choices, planning ahead, and seeking support when needed, it is possible to enjoy the holiday season without veering off course. Remember, reaching out for help if you deviate from your plan is a sign of strength, not weakness, and can be instrumental in staying on the path to a healthier lifestyle.


Keep this resource, the Swiss Cheese Model of Defense, saved for easy access as it provides a great framework with which to approach special events.




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