While many holiday memories center on celebrating with family and friends, it’s likely that many also center on food. It can be hard to not indulge in traditional foods and treats, especially if you tell yourself you’ll eat better in the New Year.

If you know of coworkers trying to resist temptation, talk to your School Employee Wellness Coordinator or administrator about using Kaiser Permanente’s free Maintain Don’t Gain program in your workplace. This toolkit includes all the resources you need to run the eight-week program.

Even if you don’t use the program this season, don’t assume you’ll need those extra roomy sweatpants! Read through the suggestions below to prevent holiday over-eating.

There’s leftover Halloween candy!
  • Gretchen Rubin, author of Better Than Before, a book about habit change, is an Abstainer. If you’re like her, you can easily commit to resisting temptation. Substitute a cup of tea, a small bowl of fruit, or a handful of nuts for the mini Snickers bars!
  • If going cold turkey is not for you, Rubin classifies you as a Moderator. In this case, stash the candy out of eye sight, possibly on a high shelf or in the freezer, and ration it. Decide how many pieces you’ll have a week, then stick to that. Savor each bite and eat slowly, without distraction.
  • If neither of those work for you, eliminate temptation. Give the candy away or take it out to the garbage bin.
 It’s Thanksgiving – you have to have a little bit of everything!
  • Eat a few hours before the event so you aren’t ravenous.
  • Choose a smaller plate; studies show larger plates are linked to larger portions.
  • Start with healthy choices like salad or cooked vegetables.
  • Eat mindfully; give all your senses a “taste” of the meal. Mindful eating can help you eat slower, allowing you to better gauge when you’re starting to feel full.
  • Sample and savor. Don’t feel pressured to eat the whole serving of dessert just because it’s tradition.
Coworkers brought treats to the breakroom!
  • Set a well-defined boundary, such as one small serving of a treat each day.
  • Decide what you’ll do if you want more, such as, “If I want another treat, I’ll have a cup of tea instead” or “If I want another treat, I’ll stay out of the staff room”. Setting clear intentions helps you stick to your limits.
  • Talk to your building leader or party planning committee about healthy treats for staff events. There are many baked treats that use applesauce, bananas, dates, honey, and even avocados in place of added sugar.
  • Give yourself a non-edible “treat” daily – work on a crossword, relax with your pet, or watch YouTube videos of baby pandas.
  • Plan an exception day. If there’s a gathering coming up, let yourself off the hook for one day, within reason. Tell yourself that tomorrow you go back to healthy options.

Read more at:

Kaiser Permanente’s Maintain Don’t Gain Program

What Experts Recommend for Healthy Eating – University of Montana

Healthy Weight – Harvard School of Public Health

3 Strategies to Prevent Overeating – Harvard School of Public Health

How to Prevent Holiday Overeating and Still Enjoy Your Food – Huffington Post

Overeating at Work? Try This – Huffington Post

A Three-Pronged Strategy for Avoiding Office Weight Gain – Harvard Business Review