This busy time of year, filled with endless parties and food temptations, can be a challenge if you’re trying to eat healthy — but you can maintain the South Beach Diet during the holidays if you’re careful, says Dr. Arthur Agatston, author of The South Beach Diet Supercharged. Sticking with a healthy eating plan, especially during the holidays, is extremely important as you strive to reach your weight-loss goals. Here’s how:
If you’re already on Phase 2 or Phase 3 of the South Beach Diet, continue to follow its healthy eating principles throughout the holidays. That way you won’t face weight gain and feel dejected once the holidays are over. If, however, you really want to start your journey toward a healthy lifestyle now, Dr. Agatston recommends beginning with Phase 2 first and then starting on the stricter two weeks of Phase 1 after New Year’s.
For the next few weeks, you will often be presented with temptations in the form of sugary cookies, cakes, pies, candy, and other holiday treats, not to mention alcohol. "By starting the South Beach Diet on Phase 2, you can allow yourself occasional indulgences, such as enjoying a glass or two of wine (or another South Beach Diet–friendly cocktail). And you’ll also be able to eat the nutrient-dense, fiber-rich fruits and whole grains that are part of so many holiday meals," explains Dr. Agatston. "Then, once the New Year comes, if necessary you can restart the diet with Phase 1, which is particularly good for people who have a lot of weight to lose or who are experiencing cravings. Or, you can remain on Phase 2, where you will continue to lose weight gradually."
Remember the South Beach Diet is about living well. As you get together with family and friends to celebrate the holidays, relax, have a good time, and enjoy preparing and sharing delicious and nutritious meals.