Diets to fight inflammation are great approaches to reduce arthritis pain, but it’s not always easy to stick to a diet plan during the holidays. Of course that’s frustrating: we don’t want to be wincing as we are trying to enjoy our time with loved ones and celebrate with friends at New Year’s Eve parties. What are the best ways to stick to the plan? Below are five techniques to help keep you on track.
- Attention in the right place – Food seems central to Thanksgiving, Christmas and Hanukkah gatherings, but remember that the main reason people gather for the holidays is to share time with one another. By placing your attention on those around you – and not the dessert platter – you can make it easier to not overdo it and avoid an inflammation flare-up (see our Arthritis Diet and other diet-related blogs for more information).
- No excuses for a complete backslide – You can certainly allow yourself to “cheat” when you’re out at a party, Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. However, it’s easy to allow an evening in which you disregarded your diet rules lead to backsliding throughout all of late November and December! Catch yourself if you notice that happening and say a polite “no thank you” to the offer of taking those extra Thanksgiving pies or the Christmas cookies home!
- You be the host – Consider hosting a holiday party at your own place to ensure that options fitting your pain-free diet are available. You can also ask the host of another party about bringing a dish, making the environment more diet-friendly.
- Don’t arrive hungry – Part of the trick to sticking with diets to fight inflammation is thinking ahead of time (as with the bring-your-own tactic above). It’s even more important that you don’t arrive at a holiday get-together “starving.” The best way to prime yourself for a party is to have a high-protein snack or fiber-dense salad beforehand. Both of those options are filling and make you less vulnerable. You can strengthen your defenses by drinking a glass of water when you arrive, too.
- Carefully select what to put on your plate – You may find that there are more items that fit within your low stress diet than you expected at the holiday party. Vegetables and fruit are a great place to focus. If you see salmon, that fish is laden with omega-3 fatty acids, which are anti-inflammatory (just go light on sauce!).
An arthritis diet, which we discussed previously in this blog, is a great way to approach your eating choices year-round (also see Gout Diet, and foods you should eat if you have Arthritis). If you are experiencing chronic pain though, you may be interested in more comprehensive solutions. Call Pain Stop today to learn more.