Holiday Pitfalls by Oliver Wolf

In this section, I am going to go over the two most common holiday pitfalls and how to avoid falling victim to them…

1. Pressured to Eat
Problem: You’re at a party hosted by your close friends and they have repeatedly asked you to try the pie they labored over. You don’t want to hurt their feelings and you feel obligated to eat the pie. This is a very dangerous situation to be in.

Resolution: In this instance, there are a few things to do. The best thing to do is to kindly decline the pie (and if you are really close with the friends, you can even explain to them why you don’t want to eat it.) I know this can sometimes be hard, but you need to worry about yourself first. And, in most cases, your friends won’t be offended once they learn of your reasoning. The second thing you could do is – try the pie. It’s good to remember that it is not always bad just to taste something. Usually after three slow and enjoyable bits the pie will lose its WOW factor. Another option is give a heartfelt complement to your friends and say, “The whole meal was delicious. I don’t want to ruin it by overeating.” Remember, it’s okay to have those classic holiday foods that you love around the holidays as long as they are eaten in moderation. The key is only to eat the foods you really LOVE and to keep up with healthy eating and exercise the rest of the season.

2. New Year’s “Reset Button” Effect
Problem: Another common pitfall is using the New Year as a ‘start-over’ point. Many people will promise to start their diet as soon as next year begins. By putting off the diet, it is more likely that you will pig out on the foods you love and think of it only as a “goodbye to the foods that you will no longer be eating.” The unfortunate thing is, on average, most New Year’s resolutions of that nature die within the first month.

Solution: The best thing to do here is to think realistically and be honest with yourself. Are you really going to use the New Year as a way to change your lifestyle, or are you only using it as an excuse to feel better about indulging during the holidays? The thing about these resolutions is, you may start out feeling great about it and doing everything that you’re supposed to, but eventually, that “newly wed” feeling will disappear. Your new routine will begin to feel more difficult. You will feel that there isn’t enough time to get to the gym. You will be frustrated that your new eating habits aren’t paying off as fast as you thought they would. All these common feelings are the reasons that 92% of people who make New Year’s resolutions fail by the end of the year. From my perspective, it is best to accept the fact that your resolution will more than likely fail, and just not make one. The best thing to do here is to enjoy the holidays and the food that comes with it but try to take the spotlight off of the food a little bit. Put your energy into shopping for presents and spending time with your loved ones rather than baking cookies or cakes. This will allow you to have a happier and healthier holiday season.