When the winter holidays arrive, sometimes there’s no way to avoid being stuck in the house with lots of family and friends — and food everywhere. Here’s how to cope:
1. Hang with the kids. If all the adults are circling the food table, spend time with the children. At most ages, kids are more likely than adults to be doing something active. Their energy and playfulness can help distract you from food.
2. Appoint yourself activity director. Take the lead in suggesting non-eating activities that the family can do together, from playing Scrabble or charades to building a snowman.
3. Grab a water bottle. When there are lots of high-calorie beverages around, it helps to have an alternative. Keep a glass or bottle of water handy.
4. Keep “free” snacks and beverages on hand. Satisfy your munchies with very low-calorie treats like carrots, celery, sweet peppers, sliced jicama, and diet drinks. That way you won’t have to rely on your willpower to steer clear of all those diet-busting rich foods.
5. Be helpful anywhere but in the kitchen. This is a tough one, especially if you’re at the in-laws’ house. But it’s easy to nibble when you’re surrounded by food preparation. Volunteer for other duties: cleaning up, setting the table, being bartender, running errands — anything that doesn’t involve food.
6. Get lost. If the sight and smell of all that food become just too much for you, excuse yourself and get out of the house. Take a stroll or go for a drive.