Gay Wellness
Posted 12/17/2021 in Self-care

10 Tips for Gay Men to Eat Healthy During the Holidays


10 Tips for Gay Men to Eat Healthy During the Holidays

The holidays are a minefield when it comes to eating well. Gay men who eat carefully all year long often fall off the diet wagon during December. 


Here are our top ten tips from our wellness experts for maintaining good diet habits through Christmas, Hanukkah and the New Year.


1. Remember why you went on a diet. 

Think about it: Why did you start eating healthy in the first place?


Any time you find yourself reaching for that extra cookie or rugelach, think about that moment when you hit rock bottom and decided to get your diet habits under control. It will remind you why you should put that high-calorie treat back.


2. Get help.

You probably had help packing on those extra pounds. It’s likely that mom, grandma, a boyfriend, your partner or someone else encouraged you to eat because it would make you — or them — feel better. Or you turned to food because it helps you get over the pain or stress of a toxic relationship. 


So why not get some support keeping the pounds off? Tell your friends about your diet struggles. It will be a relief to share what you’ve been going through. It’s likely they are — or have — experienced the same things. And they’ll be there to support your efforts to keep the weight off during the holidays and beyond.


two gay men eating pizza


3. Take control.

If you’ve had diet success, you know it’s all about gaining control over your eating habits. Keep control during the holidays. When facing down holiday food temptations, plan ahead for how you’ll handle them. Eat less on days when you’re going to a party. Bring healthy foods to pot lucks. Indulge, but don’t overindulge. Have one glass of wine, not five. Enjoy a slice of pie and no more. 


The holidays should be fun. Not an excuse to destroy the discipline you’ve worked so hard to build.

 

4. Don’t let yourself get hungry.

It’s a good thing to eat less before going to a holiday food fest. It’s a bad thing to let yourself go hungry. It will only make you chow down when you get to the event. Again, it’s all about balance. Eat less on days when you know you may indulge. Don’t eat anything at all.


5. Eat veggies!

Even the most fat-filled holiday party includes some vegetables as part of the meal. Make it a point to eat more of them and less of the pasta, bread and dessert. Also, be on the lookout for vegetables slathered in butter or cooked with bacon. They’re essentially a high-fat treat disguised as a vegetable.


two gay men with vegetables


6. Hide the treats.

Did you get a gift box of goodies from your mom or a client? Perhaps you’re a baker who likes to share your talent with friends and family members. If you have treats in your home, keep them out of sight. 


Out of sight, out of mind is a truism that’s true in this situation. If you don’t see food, you’ll be less likely to want to eat it. Even better: Don’t allow bad food into your home in the first place. If you get a gift that could harm your diet, give it to someone who could benefit from the calories.


7. Treat yourself to the foods that matter to you.

Holiday recipes are often packed with memories. It’s the reason people eat grandma’s fruitcake even though it’s awful. During the festive season, indulge in the foods that are special to you and not those that are meaningful to someone else.


8. Keep the cocktails low cal.

Needless to say, you should never overindulge in alcohol. But it’s okay to raise a glass during the holidays. When you do, drink low-calorie cocktails. Some good examples include:

  • Clear liquor with soda water

  • Champagne and wine

  • Light beer

  • Martini straight up or on the rocks.


Some of the worst options include:

  • Cream-based drinks like egg nog

  • Cocktails that include juice and sugar-sweetened mixers

  • Frozen drinks

  • Long Island iced tea.


9. Stay active.

If you’ve dieted successfully, you know it isn’t just about what you eat. It’s also about what you do. It’s easy to get busy during the holiday season and backburner exercise. Even if you can’t make it to the gym, stay active. Take a walk. Go skating. Just do something to keep yourself — and your metabolism — running. 


10. Control stress.

The festive season is the most stressful time of year for many gay men. Family pressures. Work events. Decorating, shopping and entertaining. Don’t let the stress of the holidays be your diet downfall. If you’re a stress eater, make it your priority to reduce holiday pressures. Take control over the things you can control. Meditate away those you can’t. Buy a simpler gift. Don’t get involved in family feuds. Ignore your boss’s political leanings. If you can’t, turn off your brain. It’s not just good for your mental health. It’s great for your waistline.


That's it! Just follow those tips to maintain good diet habits through the Holidays, and you'll be good. Easy, right? Not really. Be kind to yourself, queen, and just know that we're all doing our best. 



 
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