Here are the 12 Tips to Stick to Your Meal Plans that you’ve been waiting for. Inside you’ll discover a dozen ways to eat well and keep your fibromyalgia and chronic illness body healthy through the holidays (and beyond).
Family Influences on Your Meal Plans – Part 1
As we discussed in PART 1 of this article, there are lots of reasons our meal plans can become derailed. Families, work, and our environment all play a role. To refresh your memory on How Family Influences Can Sabotage Your Fibromyalgia Eating Plan Over the Holidays, be sure to check out this previous article.
Designing Meal Plans
Planning in advance – not much, just enough – can make or break your health goals. It takes just a bit of strategy to pull your plans together beforehand. Once you’ve thought about (and designed workarounds) for the circumstances that formerly set you off on a path of woe you’re well-armed for success.
You also may wish to reconsider what you term a “comfort food.” Check out this Redefining Comfort Foods post.
To get you started on your plan, check out the following tips. They’re tried and true strategies for navigating the rocky path of your next family and office gathering. They’ll make your path smooth for the weeks and months ahead.
12 Tips to Stick to Your Meal Plans
Try one or several to see how they work for you. Experiment and design your plan in a way that works specifically for you.
- Write down your meal plan in advance and carry it with you. (And/or enter your planned foods into a food app such as Lose It! or My Fitness Pal.)
- Bring your own healthy meal (or at least parts of it, such as hard boiled eggs, packets of almond butter, and/or chopped veggies).
- Bring your own healthy snack such as nuts, fruits, and veggies (don’t allow yourself to get overly-hungry).
- Eat a healthy meal and/or snack before the family event.
- Make sure to drink plenty of water before eating, and then sip small amounts continuously during the meal and thereafter. (For hydration timing tips, be sure to download this free Hydration Guide.)
- Don’t bring home leftovers (no matter what Aunt Betty says)
- If the gathering is at your home, be sure to send leftovers home with other family members.
- If the gathering is at a restaurant call ahead to scope out healthy options.
- If the meal is served buffet-style, seek out the veggies and salads first and fill up your plate just once (all-you-can-eat doesn’t have to be a personal challenge).
- Focus your time and attention on your family conversations rather than on the food. And if possible, remove yourself from the table as soon as you’re finished eating.
- At work, suggest the candy dish be removed, or if that’s not met with support, offer to provide an opaque (non-see-through) covered candy dish. There’s merit to the “out-of-sight / out-of-mind” philosophy.
- Enlist a meal buddy to go with you to the event (one who supports you and your personal nutritional plans)
Meal Planning Summary
I’d like to point out that voicing your nutritional intentions — especially at family events — can feel confrontational at first. But there’s a flip side of that feeling, too. It feels a lot like freedom.
Do you have tips to share? What have you tried that works? Please share below as your experiences help to build up the entire community.
Here’s to liberating your holiday celebrations from the tyranny of family and co-worker unhealthy food pressures. When it comes to what’s on the end of your fork — it’s your choice!
*This article is my original work and first appeared at ProHealth.com. It is reprinted with kind permission and may be viewed HERE.
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