Now that Thanksgiving is over, the next 4-6 weeks are likely to be filled with many treats of the food and drink variety. Following the gluten-free diet can be helpful in avoiding some of those treats; don’t view having to avoid these gluten-filled treats as a bad thing – view it as avoiding excess calories and fat and treat yourself to something that is gluten-free and worth a small indulgence. Those small indulgences can be a glass of red wine with dinner, a small serving of dark chocolate or even something non-food related like a new workout top, a book that has been on your “must read” list or some new tunes for your workout playlist.
If Holiday treats are unavoidable, try to practice smart portion control and focus on getting plenty of gluten-free fruits, vegetables and lean proteins the rest of the day. If you are in charge of making the meal or bringing a dish, consider healthy twists on old favorites or new healthier dishes in place of gluten-filled, calorie-laden traditional dishes.
- Make a large salad to go along side of the ham, potatoes, and such. Put small dishes of toppings around the large salad bowl and include choices like dried cranberries and walnuts for a festive twist.
- Offer fruit skewers with dip or fruit salad along with desserts.
- When dishes call for cheese, sour cream, cream cheese, use low fat or 2% versions. They taste the same in recipes and help cut back a little on the fat and calories. Stay clear of the fat free versions, as I have found that they don’t melt right or taste the same.
What do you do if you found you have gone overboard on the food and/or drink? Acknowledge it, accept it and move forward. We all make mistakes. The key is to get right back on track for the next meal or workout. Beating yourself up over it won’t do anything but make you feel bad, so skip it! Tack an extra 10 minutes onto your workout for some extra endorphins!
Can you possibly prevent yourself from going overboard in the first place? The key to this is to know what causes you to go overboard or make bad choices. Is it too much alcohol? Not enough willpower? Planned indulgence gone awry? Once you have figured that out, you can take steps to avoid a repeat the next time around.
Last, but not least, try to keep your workout schedule as normal as possible during the holiday season. Not only will this help with the extra treats during the season, but it is a wonderful way to release stress.