10 (Un)Helpful Hints to Avoid Overeating this Holiday Season!

Mmmmm hmmmm. Holidays are here! That means shopping, seeing weird family members, and holiday food! From office potlucks to sumptuous Christmas feasts, we will all overindulge a little bit this season. So, settle back with a candy cane the size of your arm and a big ol’ cup of hot chocolate and enjoy this handy-dandy (read: foolish and nonsensical) list of ways to avoid packing away too much.

1.) Imagine that the cook was naked while preparing it.

There he is, in all his shirtless glory, stirring and tap, tap, tapping the spoon against the pot. Is he wearing an apron? Maybe. Maybe not. Does it matter? Use this one with caution. You may never eat again.

2.) Don’t drink too much.

I am personally not going to follow this one, but it’s good advice. Drinking leads to room spinning and yuckiness, which makes your stomach, head, and SOUL summon bread for comfort. Also, you (or at least, I) make poor food choices while drinking. Beer goggles worked for that kinda sketchy guy at the end of the bar mid-junior year of college (He’s your husband now? Great!) and they work for those last two brownies, too.

3.) Invite only bad cooks to your potluck.

You need bad cooks? What time? I’ll be there.

4.) Take a few laps around the room.

When you’ve had a few helpings of everything offered, take your glass of chilled water on a tour of the party. Interrupt a conversation about LSU to say “Yeah, but Saban is sexy, tho…” Ask Auntie Sassy how her cats are doing. Wanna burn calories by getting red-faced and yelling? Raise your heart rate via that vein that bulges in your neck when you get mad? For a light workout, bring up local politics. (Sewerage and Water Board is a good warmup – everyone hates them, but we all hate them a LOT) If you’re ready to amp up your regimen, mention national politics. What would you rather do, 20 sit ups or one screaming match about the impeachment hearing?

5.) Be broke.

You’re probably way ahead of me on this one. All the presents, new outfits that you have to buy, Santa photos, Santa photo retakes because the kids were crying and Santa smelled like cigars and looked like loneliness, wrapping paper, tape, more tape once you lose the first tape, tickets to Celebration in the Oaks, money for the school raffle, your contribution in the office pool to get your boss another leather portfolio, new tights because you ripped your other ones when you fell down drunk at the last Christmas party… and a partridge in a pear tree. We’re all broke until February. Can’t afford food.

6.) Wear tight clothing.

… and not for the usual reason that you’re sexy and you know it. Pull out that pair of pants that technically fits, but they make your vision a little blurry and your stomach looks like a road map when you take them off. Get your belt out and cinch it until you’re a little concerned that it’s going to rip. At the party, you will be too worried about the circulation to your feet cutting off to even THINK of grabbing another mini quiche.

7.) Eat a salad before you leave the house.

I know what you’re thinking. “What if they recall romaine lettuce again?” If they recalled pastries, would you listen to them and throw it out? Of course you wouldn’t. Don’t be a quitter when it comes to lettuce. Besides, if you get sick, you won’t be able to go to the party. (*Bonus anti-social tip*…… If you don’t feel like going to the party – just TELL them that you got sick from bad romaine lettuce! No one will EVER know!)

8.) Be so late to the party that they already picked up the food.*

I have honed this skill to perfection. I have my friends and family so duped, they think I am actually a chronically late person! Hahahaha! FOOLED YOU!

*This only works for savory dishes, not dessert. Dessert is out until it’s all eaten, or somebody starts a food fight.

9.) Start a food fight.

Oh, what. You didn’t see that coming? Please.

…and finally –

10.) Eat whatever the hell you DAMN want and let everyone else get OVER IT!

A friend of mine mentioned to me a few years ago – “It doesn’t matter what you eat from December to January. It matters what you eat from January to December.” This has stuck with me because it’s true! If you are not already on a health journey, this is not the best time to start. If you are, please still enjoy yourself! Better to relax and enjoy your family and friends on purpose than to sink into a pathetic puddle on your pantry floor the second week in January, desperately licking the last crumbs of chocolate from that one remaining piece of Santa-printed foil. (Not that I’ve ever done that. I don’t have a walk-in pantry.)

During the holidays, stress is high, food is everywhere, and self-soothing is totally necessary. Cut yourself (and others) some slack. Besides, the season comes with a “reset” button – New Year’s Resolutions.

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Jeanne is a proud Westbanker and inordinately blessed wife, full time working parent, and middle child. She and her insanely handsome husband of 15 years have 2 daughters, aged 11 and 2. Her hobbies include cake decorating, reading, devouring movies, and slowly turning into her mother. When they are not patronizing local restaurants, she and her family enjoy driving around to take in the surroundings of their home, from Lafitte to Folsom, and all points in between. Jeanne has contributed her time and skills to a number of organizations, including WRBH Reading for the Blind, and the Jefferson Chorale. She celebrates the seasons in true New Orleans style - Easter champagne brunch, summertime snoball, Saints game day Abita, and Celebration in the Oaks with a flask. 

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