WAG Q&A With Adee Cazayoux: Episode 12, Handling Holiday Temptations
With Easter quickly approaching, in this episode of Q&A With Adee Cazayoux, founder of Working Against Gravity, Adee answers your questions about staying on top of your nutrition while enjoying holiday dinners with friends and family.
Q: What are some strategies for holiday eating?
A: If you’re going to a holiday dinner, there will be lots of dishes, lots of sweets and lots of really dense, caloric, delicious meals. So how do you manage all this temptation while staying on top of your nutrition? There are a couple of different strategies I recommend that have helped many WAG members. My first tip: It’s easier to change your environment than it is to change your mind. Often, holiday meals are served family style, meaning there will be a buffet set up somewhere, so you’ll take your plate and fill it before taking your seat at the table. Do not sit facing the buffet! How many of you have been in this spot? You’re eating, glancing at the buffet, and already thinking about the next thing you’re going to eat. It’s much easier to avoid temptation if you sit with your back to the buffet so you’re not thinking about your next trip for food. Instead, you’re actually getting full from the food that’s on the plate in front of you. Same tip goes for the bread basket—move it off the table so it’s not staring at you, begging you to eat it!
Here’s another table strategy: If there are children at the dinner, they may be eating dishes like mac and cheese or sweets—foods that definitely do NOT fit into your nutrition plan. Make those items as hard to access as possible. Put those dishes in another room, keeping them away from the food you’ll be eating, and then you’ll have to make an extra decision before participating in eating those foods.
Lastly, eating healthy during the holidays can be difficult for everyone. So you can be that person who sets the example and creates healthy options that everyone enjoys! Nobody likes that after-holiday-dinner guilt of overindulgence. So eat some of your favorite dishes and try to change out others for healthy alternatives. Then you’ll only eat a couple of those calorie-dense foods.
Q: I struggle to say no to temptations. What are some boundaries I can set?
A: Saying no and resisting temptations when someone offers us food can be really hard. We don’t want to make other people feel bad and we really appreciate that others have gone out of their way to make food for us. However, we really want to stay on top of our goals. So, there are some boundaries that I’ve seen work well. One in particular is having an ally. It’s a lot easier to say no to temptations when someone else is helping you—someone who steps in and steps up to support you. Here’s one great example from my experience: We often visit my husband’s family for holiday dinners. They live in southern Louisiana and they serve delicious food: crawfish etouffee, spinach madeleine and many other rich foods. There are so many wonderful, indulgent meals served that I absolutely love and are really delicious! My husband knows beforehand that I need some help resisting that kind of temptation, so he can step in and say, “Hey, we’re not going to be eating that today. We’ve decided we’re going to stick with this particular meal.” If someone else has your back, saying no is much easier.
Here’s another scenario: you’re sitting at the dinner table, staring at that pie and you’re thinking, “How do I say no to this pie?” My favorite strategy is to make the decision two minutes harder. Take two minutes. Think about that pie. Still want it two minutes later? Sure, go ahead and have a slice. Maybe have a smaller portion than you normally would have. But maybe in those two minutes you’ve forgotten all about it! So try to make the gap from thinking about pie and eating pie longer and longer and it’s probably going to make you less likely to indulge.
Q: Where do I draw the line between keeping tradition and maintaining progress with my nutrition goals?
A: One thing we take pride in at Working Against Gravity is teaching our members when it’s okay to indulge and when it’s inappropriate to do so. During the holidays, sometimes sticking with tradition and eating that slice of pie that Grandma makes every single year is worth more than being 100% precise with your nutrition. Working with a coach can help you make those decisions and learn the difference between overindulgence just to overindulge and indulging to participate in memories and moments that bring joy to your life. Working Against Gravity can help you determine what works in terms of your lifestyle! So if you do really want that slice of pie with the rest of your family and you’re creating a memory that you’ll cherish forever, go for it! Don’t feel guilty. Maybe just avoid the scale the next day.
Enjoy the moment. Be present. Love the people you’re with.
These are just a few tips you can use when you’re celebrating holidays with friends and family. If you have some tips you think other people can benefit from, add them in the comments!
I hope you have a great holiday celebrating Easter with friends and family. I also hope you make good decisions and still feel happy about the progress you’re making toward your goals!
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