Don't Try to Lose Weight During the Holidays, Says Dietitian Keri Glassman

Instead of nibbling on everything at the holiday party, pick your favorite items. Alex Wong/Getty Images

Saying no to your favorite cookies or that extra glass of wine seems particularly cruel during the holidays. And that's exactly why registered dietitian Keri Glassman, founder of Nutritious Life, recommends that you stop dieting during the busy party season.

"Take away the idea of trying to lose during this time of year," said Glassman.

Restricting every bite (mostly without success) is among the strategies people employ during this sugar- and booze-heavy season. Another approach is to give up and try again in the new year, which Glassman advises against, too.

"I don't say just forget it, throw in the towel and wait until January 1 at all," she told Newsweek. But she does believe you can enjoy the holidays without suffering from food FOMO or constant bloating. She offers up five tips:

Coast Your Way into 2018
Glassman believes it's best to give up any weight loss goals until the new year. If you're halfway to a 20-pound weight loss, be happy with your accomplishments and focus on maintenance.

"It takes off a huge amount of pressure," she said.

Treat Every Meal Like Monday
Often people let one act derail their good intentions. You might eat a burger and fries for lunch, which spurs a pizza binge for dinner since the whole day seems wasted. Instead, Glassman advises thinking of each meal as an individual opportunity to eat well. If you're attending five holiday parties throughout the month, as an example, that's really only five indulgent choices out of 93.

Practice Your Healthiest Behavior Consistently
And yes, you do have at least one good-for-you ritual, which can be easy to abandon during this hectic time of year.

"Take the things that you're good at, take them up a notch, and that can make up for the few indulgences here and there," she said.

That means whipping up that that morning oatmeal even if the previous night was a little too gluttonous, or sticking with 7:00 AM runs on mornings you want to stay in bed.

Eat Before You Party
One common strategy is to skip meals before eating a heavy one in order to save a few calories. It doesn't work. In the end, you'll be so ravenous that you load up on fried foods at the company party instead of nibbling from the veggie tray. The dietitian recommends having a light, protein-filled snack such as turkey slices or vegetables and peanut butter to reduce binges.

Plan to Indulge
Use your calories for foods that elicit true happiness. There's no point noshing on cookies that are "meh."

"Don't give into that picking and trying everything attitude," said Glassman.

If you're not particularly fond of ginger snaps, then skip it and wait for grandma's homemade pumpkin pie.

This approach should also extend to alcohol, according to our expert.

"If you know you have to stop by a work event for half an hour, maybe that's where you have club soda in a stem glass," she offered. Save the drinking for a night out with friends where you'll get more pleasure out of the experience.

Finally, and maybe most importantly, treat yourself without feeling guilty. "Sit down; enjoy the people you're with," said Glassman, who will certainly be savoring the season.

Her favorite indulgence?

"Any kind of good holiday cookies."

Copy of Copy of Keri-Glassman(92of158)
Keri Glassman, MS, RD, CDN, advises not trying to lose even one pound until the holidays are over. Care of Keri Glassman

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