From Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day comfort foods and nostalgic sweets will tempt you wherever you go. When coupled with extra stress, lack of sleep, and too much alcohol, it often seems easier to give way to your cravings and promise to hop back on the wagon after the holidays are over. But you don’t have to give up! Read on for some strategies for sticking to the paleo diet during the holiday season.
1. Be the Host
The easiest way to avoid meals that aren’t paleo is to cook them yourself! Many dinner staples fit the diet, so you would only have to make a few substations. Whip up some cauliflower mash in place of potatoes and bake paleo versions of classic holiday desserts. Your guests probably won’t know the difference. If you are worried about picky relatives, you can always make small batches of “regular” dishes for them; you will be so busy with hosting that sticking to your yummy paleo foods will be easy!
2. Stick to Your Exercise Plan
Work out a little harder during the holiday season in case you do slip up with your paleo diet. Sticking to your routine also gives you a sense of stability during this crazy time of year, so you will feel less stressed, which means less chance of stress binging. You can also work out before your big holiday meal. The endorphins will make you feel so good you won’t want to ruin that feeling with bad foods.
3. Plan Some “Cheats”
Holiday foods are more than just fuel for your body; they are associated with family traditions and happy memories. If skipping your Mom’s pumpkin pie or Dad’s famous ham makes you feel sad and isolated, acknowledge and give yourself permission to experience these emotions. You can also carefully plan one or two “cheat” foods during the holidays to feel like you are involved and make the cook feel appreciated. A few of Grandma’s cookies or a glass of eggnog won’t hurt too much if you have stuck with your paleo diet all year.
4. Bring Your Own Food
If you are worried your host won’t have anything that fits the paleo diet, bring something you can eat. This works especially well for a potluck! Offer to bring a paleo version of the most diet-killing dishes, like dessert. You can also eat before the gathering so you aren’t tempted.
Are you a paleo dieter who’s been through the holiday seasons once or twice before? Send over your favorite tips and secrets to help others navigate this tempting time of year.