Surviving Two Family Holidays Healthfully

After you tie the knot, and especially if you have inlaws who like to travel or live close by, you're doing double holiday duty. That means two Thanksgivings, two Christmas/Hanukkah/etc. celebrations (like a child of divorced parents) and double the eating and drinking. Oh... and if you have food pusher families? You'll be at your wit's end, and maybe the end of your belt adjuster, by New Years. Statistics show us that after the wedding, both bride and groom pick up extra weight. I'm totally convinced this is a small part of that epidemic. Luckily, there are strategies for surviving double holiday syndrome.

  • Balance everything: It doesn't matter if it's dinner, brunch, or a cocktail party; Make everything you eat fit into a meal pattern with whole grains, lean protein and at least half of it veggies and fruit.
  • Look at the big picture: You had the most fabulous wedge of pumpkin pie last night. For lunch you also had the mother in law's famous red velvet cake. So what has the rest of your week been like? Don't freak out over two desserts. If you've done your healthy job the other days, it's okay!
  • Learn how to say no: I come from a long line of food pushers. It's how we show love. But you do-not-ever have to say yes to something you don't want to eat. Keep "No thanks" on repeat until your relative gets it. Or until you change seats.
  • Make vegetables your platter: At every meal, at least half of your plate should be full of vegetables. For lunch there's nothing I love more than a bed of greens with the entree nicely portioned over the top.
  • Pick water: There's no reason you should be picking soda at events. Water or zero calorie, zero additive seltzer, is the best option for a clean fuel. Soda is liquid calories, and even though I've heard "It doesn't count...I'll pee it out!" me on this. It still counts.
  • Have a light cocktail: Celebration libations. Eliminate the fishbowl sized wine glasses and have a normal serving or two. If mixed drinks are your thing, vodka sodas,
  • Skip the dips: Dips for chips or veggies or shrimp are unneeded excess intake traps. Many of us over dip and slather high fat spreads onto what could be a simple snack.

What experiences have you had with the double holiday issue?