By Tina Haupert
Christmas is just a few days away, and I'm excited that it'll finally be here. I love all of the sights and sounds of the holiday—the decorations, music, family, friends, presents, and, of course, the food!
There's nothing wrong with indulging a little bit during the holidays. Still, I don't want to overdo it either. Maintaining my Feel Great Weight is important to me, so I keep my tips for avoiding holiday weight gain in mind to help me navigate food-focused get-togethers.
It's tough enough that I have to balance my food choices and not eat everything in sight when it comes to Christmas celebrations, but the food pushers in my life make it even more difficult. For instance, after a big holiday meal, my great-aunt always seems to push more food my way. She usually offers me a little piece of whatever dessert she has prepared. I almost never skip dessert, so I usually accept. But before I even finish my serving, she's giving me a second helping. Of course, I want to eat more dessert. However, I'm usually full and know that another serving will do me no good. When I refuse, my aunt always seems to guilt-trip me into eating more.
Over the years, I've learned to say no to her without hurting her feelings or doing damage to my waistline. Here are some ways that I deal with her and other food pushers in my life:
Honestly is the best policy
I know that my aunt doesn't like to hear me turn down her desserts. Still, my honesty usually gets her to back off. When I explain that I am committed to maintaining my Feel Great Weight and that I'm not trying to upset or offend her, she usually understands. She respects my decision—sometimes I just need to remind her!
If I know there's going to be an amazing spread of high-calorie foods, like indulgent appetizers or desserts, I help myself to small portions. This pleases the host or chef, but still prevents me from overeating.
Employ stall tactics
If food is pushed my way and I'm too full to take another bite, I use stall tactics to avoid overeating. I say something along the lines of "Maybe I'll have some in a little bit" or "I'm too stuffed to eat right now, but maybe later." Sometimes stalling is easier than turning food down altogether. Plus, if I really do want more to eat (like more dessert!), I can always help myself to it later.
Ask for a doggie bag
When my aunt has offered me seconds one too many times, I ask her to wrap up a plate for me to take home. I love her cooking, so I just enjoy it at a later time when the pressure to eat is off!
Just say no
If all of the above tactics don't work, I just politely decline. Sometimes, just being assertive gets me out of the awkward food pushing. My health is a top priority for me, so it's worth ruffling a few feathers when I don't want to eat something.