I am shamelessly paraphrasing from an excellent article written by Dr. Zoe Harcombe (a PhD nutritionist from Wales). For the complete article you should check her blog: https://www.zoeharcombe.com/blog/
Dr. Harcombe realized early on that all irresistible food had the unnatural combination of high amounts of fat and carbohydrate – a combination that nature rarely provides. Cakes, candies, chips and cookies contain both and we can easily overeat them. She suggests that we could overeat the combination of bread with butter much more so than bread alone or butter alone. So, her first rule is to not eat fats and carbohydrates in combination. Have your meat with vegetables but not with pasta with a creamy cheese sauce.
Here are some more guidelines:
1. Cheat, but not too often!
2. Be alert and stay in control. You can’t be an addict and eat in moderation. Avoid the chocolate. It is easier not to have the cookie versus having one cookie and not having more.
3. Don’t settle for anything less than what you really want. If you want Christmas pudding and sauce then have it; however, don’t have the mince pie, because you likely will still have the pudding.
4. Don’t graze. To me, this is most important. Try to keep to a routine. Around Christmas, there really is no such thing as three meals. There are snacks of nuts and candies and cookies around — don’t pick. Avoid carbohydrate snacks which spike insulin and glucose, you will be on a glucose roller coaster for the rest of the day. To avoid ‘cravings’, avoid the carb snacks; the fluctuating blood sugars will simply have you craving more snacks.
5. Don’t be around junk when you are hungry. Your will power might be tested enough over the festive period; you don’t want to make things really difficult for yourself. If you are heading to a party, have an omelet or a bowl of yogurt beforehand. You are less likely to eat junk as dinner is being prepared.
6. Don’t confuse thirst and hunger. If you think you are hungry, try having a drink of water first. Fruit is over 90% water and meat is about 70% water, so you may be craving liquid rather than food.
7. Don’t be within reach of junk. Don’t stand beside the chips or nuts at parties. Don’t sit close to the box of chocolates in the living room. Simply making something out of reach makes it far less likely that you will eat it.
8. Don’t let feeders sabotage your good intentions. For some strange reason people try to get you to eat junk over Christmas. They think they are being nice, but they are not. Just say “no thank you” if someone tries to push junk onto you. Keep repeating “no thank you” until they get the message.
These are but a few of her good tips. I agree with everything. I also know how hard it is not to ‘give into’ the treats (junk). Stay alert. This is all about your health. Junk is simply that, junk. It may taste good, but it provides you absolutely no nutritional value, and worse, it has a negative impact on your health.
You can do it. Enjoy the holidays but stay alert to eat what you want to eat and eat those things that you know won’t sabotage all your efforts to date.