It seems like every year around this time, everyone’s diets go a little haywire, with lots of sugar and few veggies in sight. And hey, it’s the holiday season, and food is a big way to get in the festive mood. If you wanna satisfy your Christmas cravings without all the unhealthy decisions and food guilt, these helpful hints and tricks will keep you on track.
Screw up all your holiday cookie recipes
If everything tastes horrible, you will be at least a little bit less inclined to eat it. I recommend the classic salt/sugar swap, the burnt-to-a-crisp method, or replacing milk with non-toxic glue. Trust me, it will end up really gross, and your pants may actually fit for the new year. Or if you actually want to make holiday cookies the right way, try one of these recipes.
Form a physical barrier between yourself and food
Easy access will make it unlikely that you will successfully control yourself in the face of a plate of grandma’s peppermint bark. Try a human chain red-rover style, or make the cookies your tree topper so you won’t be able to reach. Problem solved.
Replace white chocolate with dark chocolate
Although white chocolate may fit better with the festive color scheme of the holidays, it actually is rather bad for you. I would opt for dark chocolate instead, which is full of antioxidants, flavinoid to improve your heart health, and energy-boosting properties to keep you from snoring during one of your uncle’s boring stories about his glory days playing college football or hunting.
Smash your oven
Honestly, I get why you might be skeptical of this one — your mom will probably get mad, and most college students don’t have $1,000+ dollars lying around to fund property damage payments. But trust me, this is a guaranteed method to avoid baking this holiday season.
Try a healthier version of your favorite cookies
You could add avocado to your chocolate chip cookies like this, or make these banana coffee chocolate chip cookies for breakfast — they will fill you up quicker and are healthier than traditional recipes. Even if you hate avocado, or think it has no place in a dessert, you should still include it, so you won’t eat any of the cookies. It’s pretty much a win-win.
Feed your treats to your dog
Food from the table definitely constitutes a perfect Christmas gift for your pet, just as long as it doesn’t have chocolate, alcohol, milk, nuts, tons of salt, or citrus, which could be harmful to them. Ok, so this only applies to a very narrow set of Christmas treats, but… You get the idea.
Make single-serve desserts instead
If you, like me, have a tendency to eat all 35 cookies in one sitting, single-serving desserts may be your best option. Luckily, there are tons of options out there which can be appropriately seasonal and helpful in maintaining personal willpower. Check out this dark chocolate mug cake, this Oreo mug cheesecake, or this single-serve peanut butter cookie for inspiration.
Leave all the baked goods out for Santa
He works hard, he could definitely use your extra cookies as a nice treat. Plus, Mrs. Claus clearly doesn’t mind a little more around the midsection, so chances are Santa will be totally down to help you out like the good bro that he is. But if you don’t want to leave him milk and cookies, just leave him one of these tasty treats.
Use a red plate
Festive and effective. Studies have shown that eating off of a red plate subconsciously signals to your brain that you should stop eating. Plus, its so cute and Christmas-y.
Embrace body-con at your Christmas party
Though it may be a tad promiscuous for a family or corporate office party, it will definitely convince you to lighten up on the cookies and treats so you can fit in your dress and look amazing.
Eat in slow motion
Anyone who’s played around with Snapchat’s newest feature knows that slow motion can be really entertaining. Taking this to the next level and literally eating at that rate will help you keep the treats in moderation, as slower eaters who savor their food end up eating less.
Bake with beans
While beans may be your favorite character from Even Steven’s, chances are, they’re not your favorite baking ingredient. This holiday season, it definitely should be — adding or replacing ingredients in common treats with beans can be a super healthy way to stay fit.
Donate your food
What is Christmas without a little selfless altruism, really? Trust me, as much as you appreciate good food around the holiday season, there are always people in need who would appreciate it much more. Check out this list of the best foods to donate during the holidays, and do some research about your local donation options.
As much as I love the ingredients for the breakfast spaghetti separately, once Buddy puts them together in this truly iconic cinematic performance, I start to lose my appetite. This’ll keep you off food for at least a few minutes, probably. The scene where he pukes in the trash can after too many times around the revolving door should also help you lose your appetite. C’mon Buddy, that’s just gross.
Embrace the extra winter padding
Mental health is just important as physical health, and especially after a long, hard round of finals, you deserve to treat yourself a little bit this holiday season (we recommend making one or all of these comfort foods). Plus, everyone wears big coats in the winter, so what’s an extra inch on your waist here and there?