Nix the word "diet" - the goal here is simply to enjoy in moderation!
1. Don't "save room"
Excited for the big meal? Can't wait for your favorite foods? Going to skip breakfast and lunch so you have room for all the goodies? Forget it!
Making conscious decisions to eat a bit lighter the weeks around the holidays so you can "earn" a few extra calories at special meals is a good idea, but starving yourself the day of is definitely not. All you'll do is ensure that you're too hungry to make good decisions, and probably eat way too much before you even realize it. (Like I did the other night, when I came home from a 12-hour day fueled by one salad and one protein bar. I inhaled a full plate of food and recapped my trip in about 2.3 minutes. DH's jaw was on the floor - and that was only leftovers!)
Instead, eat a few light, healthful meals or snacks with plenty of protein and fiber - so when you get the the meal you'll be hungry but not starving.
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