It's easy to feel like healthy habits take a backseat this time of year with the onslaught of holiday parties. There are sure
to be plenty of cookies, eggnog, chocolate and cocktails. You may try to convince yourself that these treats are
limited-time-only specials—that come January, the healthy eating will start. That attitude can set you up for an
all-or-nothing gorge on treats during the holiday season with plans to abstain next year.
Instead, say to yourself, "I can have it some other time." That simple phrase may help you overcome your cravings, says a
recent study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. When people were served M&Ms and instructed to
tell themselves that they'd treat themselves "some other time"—versus totally abstaining—they ate less chocolate in the
moment and over the course of the following week. When you use this vague phrasing instead of "never," it tells your brain
that you don't really care about that food, making it easier to turn it down. Go to your next holiday party armed with this
phrase and that cookie platter has nothing on you.
Here are other strategies to help you eat healthier this holiday season:
Start your day with a healthy
Protein is very satisfying and helps keep you full until lunchtime.
are great for hectic mornings because you can take them to go.
Get a good night's sleep. It can be tough during this busy time of year, but losing out on
sleep makes you more likely to chow down on calories the next day.
Drink a little less wine (on the sly)
If you're going to pour yourself a glass of wine, do it
the right way! Follow these 3
tricks to stick to a standard 5-ounce pour
Don't cut out treats altogether. That goal is not only unrealistic, but banning sugary foods
completely may also lead to overeating, according to a study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Saying no to sweets completely may make you more stressed, and increased stress can lower your motivation to eat more
nutritious foods, making it more likely that you'll binge on junk food.
Forgive any diet slip-ups. Don't beat yourself up if you eat or drink a little more than you
intended one day. It happens to the best of us. Instead of feeling down about it, let it go and get right back on track.
Some original reporting by Jessica Migala for EatingWell magazine.