The biggest secret to eating healthy during the holidays

I love the holidays, but, let’s be honest, they aren’t the best for our waistlines. There is food everywhere. And drinks at every corner. And the gym always seems so far away.

I get it. I really get it. My Thanksgiving will feature a full-sized bird and three pies for four people. It makes no sense, but that’s what’s happening. Not to mention, I travel most of December to places where I lack the ability to easily shop for food, cook a meal, or plan a solo-trip to a gym.

So, guys, I’m with you on the health holiday pains. But even with all the road bumps, I am confident that I can eat healthy most of the holiday season. And I’m confident because I learned how to keep portions in check when on vacation without a food scale, willpower, or pre-sized meals. Want to know the secret?

I choose quality over quantity. 

I know this method may sound too simple to some of you, but I’m telling you, it is that simple. Here’s why: Increased quality prevents increased quantity. This is why French women don’t get fat. They eat cheese and croissants made with the best ingredients around and, when you do that, your body responds by properly metabolizing your food, which keeps you fuller longer and reduces cravings.

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In practice, this looks like eating a home-made dessert with items you can pronounce and high-quality ingredients like organic milk, coconut sugar, and fresh fruit instead of store bought sugar cookies with cake frosting. Now, if that kind of dessert doesn’t exist yet in your holiday tradition, change that. Find or bake a high-quality pie and bring it to your next gathering. I went to Trader Joe’s for my pumpkin pie ingredients, and it only cost $13 and only took an hour to bake. But if baking isn’t your jam, pick one up at a health food store near you.

And, while you’re at it, apply this rule to sides, cakes, and as many foods as you can over the holiday season. I’m telling you, elevating the quality of your food will pay big dividends this winter (and this spring, summer, and fall). It has for me and my clients, and it will for you too.

So, embrace being the weirdo that brings the healthy pie to dinner, guys. Because, if you truly want to get healthy, you’re going to have to be the weirdo who brings her pies to Thanksgiving, who asks for nut milk over conventional 2%, and who asks the server what’s in the soup 9 times out of 10. And that’s fine. Because, the truth is, everyone wants to get healthy, and you’re empowering them to do so by taking the lead.

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