Help Your Clients Stick to Their Diets This Holiday Season

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by Casey McIlvaine

Tis the season for so many tasty, tempting treats that can easily derail your clients’ diets. First, there was Halloween, and it’s quite possible that some of your clients still have candy leftover. Thanksgiving is around the corner. Christmas will be here before we know it, and in the mean time, there are plenty of seasonal goodies available from grocery stores, restaurants, Starbucks, and more.

You might not be able to keep your clients from indulging, but you could give them healthier alternatives and advice to prevent them from straying too far from their diets.

Healthy Alternatives for Cooking and Baking

Websites like CookingLight.com, EatingWell.com, and allrecipes.com provide healthier recipes for things like turkey stuffing, gingerbread cookies, and more. In addition, MyRecipes.com has a Healthy Diet section and, similarly, The Food Network has its Healthy Eating section.

To make your clients’ holiday recipes for things like Christmas cookies a bit healthier, your clients can use alternative ingredients to reduce fats and sugars and to substitute in healthier carbs.

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Help Your Clients Stay on Track with Their Diets

When it comes to getting your clients to stay on track with their diets, you might see more success from them if you stress the “everything in moderation” rule rather than pressuring them not to indulge at all. Pressuring them not to indulge at all might cause them to snap and binge eat on candy, cookies, muffins, and more.

Emphasize a focus on work, running holiday errands, preparing for guests to visits, and definitely on exercise.

Additionally, these tips can help your clients stay on track during all of the holiday excitement:

  1. If you’re going to cheat on your diet, save it for the right occasion. If you know you have an event coming up where there will be a lot of unhealthy holiday treats available, be extra vigilant about following your diet in the days leading up to and following the event. This way, you can let the party be an exception to your diet, enjoying the food in moderation without feeling guilty.
  1. veggie-trayConsider volunteering to host a party so that you can control the types of foods available. This way, you can put out a vegetable tray, or bake goods using some of the healthier ingredient substitutes provided earlier in this post.
  1. If you’re not hosting, don’t arrive at the party on an empty stomach because you’ll be more likely to over eat on unhealthy foods in order to satisfy your growling stomach. Instead, eat something high in protein, like yogurt or cottage cheese, about an hour before you plan on arriving.
  1. Be mindful of what you’re going to be eating. If you’re planning on attending a party that’s going to be serving dinner after hors-d’oeuvres, limit yourself to how many hors d’oeuvres you eat prior to the meal. If the party doesn’t start until later, meaning you’ll be eating dinner at home, consider eating a light dinner of high protein foods.
  1. Instead of loading up a plate with goodies, grab a napkin and only eat one treat at a time.
  1. Make the focus of your evening talking to guests rather than eating the food. Go mingle with people away from the food so that it will be harder for you to eat.
  1. This goes back to mindfulness: when you do grab a cookie, piece of chocolate, etc., eat it slowly and appreciate it.
  1. holiday-drinkDon’t forget that alcohol has a lot of calories, especially sugary mixed drinks. Limit yourself to two drinks so that you’re not drinking an enormous amount of calories.
  1. If you’re a social butterfly who has been invited to multiple holiday parties, consider declining a few of the invitations for the sake of your diet. All of those extra calories will really add up throughout the season.
  1. Don’t skip your workouts! In fact, if you can squeeze in an extra 15 – 20 minutes of cardio several times a week (even if it’s just brisk walking), this could help to even out your calorie intake with your calorie expenditure.

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