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How to Eat in Moderation When Surrounded by Holiday Temptations

Updated: Feb 24, 2023

How can you eat in moderation when surrounded by holiday temptations like chocolate, baking, and butter-laden mashed potatoes?

Fortunately, it is possible to minimize temptation and find a way to consume food in balance with your goals!

family christmas dinner

By learning to eat in moderation, the following tips will assist you in remaining healthy and on track with your eating goals:

1. Familiarize yourself with the concept of moderation.

What does moderation entail with regards to your body and diet?

• While moderation varies according to an individual, experts agree that it generally entails limiting unhealthy foods to small portions and on rare occasions. This means that you can consume cookies or pancakes in small portions and not at every holiday meal.

• It's critical to determine your own tolerance for moderation. Are you able to abstain from chips during the week but struggle on weekends? You must establish your own set of rules in order for moderation to work for you.

I can never emphasize enough the power of a journal. It's difficult to recall everything you ate during the week. It's easy to forget that you ate half a bag of M&M's at your desk or ate the entire bag of pretzels while watching Home Alone. A journal can assist you in keeping track of everything you eat. Another tool is to use an application like MyFitnessPal where you can track all of your food intakes.

• The journal can assist you in determining when and how to eliminate unhealthy foods.

• It also assists you in identifying patterns, making it easier to achieve your goal of eating in moderation. For instance, if you discover that you are constantly reaching for chips listening to your uncle's political rant then you can develop a new habit that is supportive of your goal.

Journal for success

3. Own your triggers.

Are you prone to reach for ice cream when you're stressed or worried?

• Stress and anxiety are the most common triggers for binge eating. However, fatigue and boredom can also be triggers for loading up on gravy rather than healthy veggies.

• Learn how to manage these triggers: To begin, identify your triggers and the events that lead up to them. For instance, does conversing with your mother-in-law make you anxious and prompt you to consume half a baguette with butter? Once you've identified your triggers, you can work on developing coping mechanisms to overcome them.

• Through trial and error, you can discover various techniques that assist you in managing stress and anxiety, preventing you from reaching for junk food to compensate for your emotions. Breathing, meditation, and relaxation techniques, for example, are all effective methods. Be gentle with yourself if you slip, change takes time so congratulate yourself for taking the steps necessary to overcome your emotional eating.

4. Hide or eliminate your temptations.

If you are hosting a meal for your family and you don't normally keep high sugar foods in the house then ensure that you won't reach for them while preparing for the gathering.

• Temptations vary by individual, but the most frequently encountered items are sugary and salty snacks. This category includes cake, cookies, chips, pretzels, and a variety of other food items.

• Since you may not be able to discard all of the junk food, the next best option is to store it in an inaccessible location. For instance, you can store food on a top shelf that requires the use of a chair or stool to access. Another option is to store it in a seldom-used storage area.

man cooking

Moderation is the key to eating healthy without feeling constantly deprived and hungry. Utilize these tips to help you stay on track with your goals and avoid gaining weight or jeopardizing your health.

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