Right about this time, you’ll hear the old Christmas standard “It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year” playing.  True enough, I love this season.  I love the downtime, hanging out with my family and…the food.

Boy, do I love the food!

Over the last year, I kind of slacked off, saying that I would clean up my act after Christmas because, heck, there was a lot of good stuff to be had but, this year, I am doing something a little different.  This year, I am going to practice some self-control.

There are a few “tricks” I’ve been employing.  Actually, it’s just better habits that help me not feel so tempted.  The first is to drink more water.  This is typically not a problem on days where I work out.  However, on those off days, the desire for it is not as great.  But, if I get in 8-12 glasses (this is the amount that works for me — your mileage may vary), I find that I don’t go crazy with the food.

This brings me to another “trick” — working out on a holiday.  I find that getting in 30-60 minutes of exercise, especially in the late morning/early afternoon, doesn’t ruin my holiday time the family and keeps me from gorging myself later.  To me, it’s more psychological than anything.  After I work out, I don’t want to ruin it with overeating.

My final “trick” will be to not hang out where the food is.  We typically go visit relatives on Christmas.  It’s a full house so, you have people congregating in the living room and around the kitchen table.  I opt for the living room.  The food is piled high in the kitchen and there’s even a separate table for the desserts.  I find that being out of the visual range of the food helps me not think about it as much.  I still eat but, it’s not the mindless nibbling that can occur when everything is right within arm’s reach.

So, wish me luck.  Hopefully something I wrote might help you, also.  If you have any strategies that get you through this time of year, if you’re willing to share,  I’d love to hear them.