How to indulge without over-indulging during the holidays!


By Meridan Zerner, MS,RD,CSSD,LD Homemade Gourmet

Does the beginning of the holiday season bring twinges of anxiety and stress instead of delight at the prospect of holiday weight gain; overshadowing what should be the joy in the season? Then please read on.

At Homemade Gourmet we are suggesting a win-win solution the ultimate how to have your cake and eat it too. We are suggesting a different kind of anticipation one that anticipates the fun, the parties, the food and the other dietary

Call it the 80/20 rule where 80 percent of the time, we’ll eat really well, maximize our choices and truly nourish our bodies with healthy foods and 20% of the time we’ll indulge a bit and enjoy the merriment and the spirit of the season.

THE 80%
~ First and foremost, do your best to plan ahead.  Not only will you make better choices 80% of the time, you will be less stressed, and stress can lead to last minute bad eating habits.  Homemade Gourmets. 4 meals in 4 minutes is our foundation for planning meals ahead of time.

~ Plan meals around leaner meats and vegetables.  The Key to the Kitchen is an amazing resource to help select the meals and sides that include more vegetables and leaner meats. Select from the low fat, low sodium and diabetic-friendly recipes available to you, as well as the 4 meals in 4 minutes options.

~ Portion control.  Being mindful of the portion sizes is a major part of the 80% game plan. Most Americans eat twice the portions recommended by the FDA.  Focus on 4 oz portions of lean meats (about the size of a deck of cards).

~ Drink water.  Avoiding sugar sweetened and/or carbonated beverages, as well as fruit juices.  This will keep you hydrated better, while saving calories at meal times.

~ Eat breakfast every morning. Studies show that those dieters who had a lean, higher protein breakfast along with some fresh fruit ate less throughout the day and felt more satisfied. I love the Homemade Gourmet BLT Frittata substituting fat free half and half or skim milk and then adding a small bowl of blueberries on the side for a balanced dose of good nutrition.

THE 20%
~ Enjoy the Party!  Eat what you like at holiday meals and seasonal parties.  Dont deprive yourself of your favorite things or indulgent desserts that are only prepared this time of year.

~ Portion Control.  Keep this part of the 80% rule in your 20% plan. You can satisfy the cravings for the indulgent desserts and heavy sauceswithout going overboard!

In general, have a holiday game plan that includes exercise. If you overindulge one night, get up the next morning and go for a walk. One crazy meal day does not ruin a diet, but beating yourself up over that day unreasonably breaks your spirit. It is the culmination of many days of over-the-top-eating that packs on the pounds. Get right back to eating a healthy breakfast, adding in meaningful snacks and getting some exercise.

Remember to find joy in your journey through the holidays, making the most, health-wise, out of every possible day (80% of the time) will give you the freedom to enjoy the parties and gatherings (20% of the time) that make the  holidays truly memorable.

Homemade GourmetR provides fresh food mixes and meal plans that save your family money and make you a hero in the kitchen. Bringing the family back to the dinner table with great tasting meals that are affordable and easy to prepare is the company’s mission and the foundation of its success. With Americans experiencing rising costs for daily living, family budgets are shrinking. Expensive restaurant, takeout, and fast food meals are becoming less and less viable, yet consumers are as challenged as ever to find the time and energy to prepare meals at home from scratch. Today, Homemade GourmetR provides a realistic alternative.

You can find more holiday articles and shopping ideas in the Holiday Gift-Giving Guide for Women (PDF) here: :