This morning I was #blessed enough to get a peek at a Daily Mail piece on holiday weight gain. Aside from outlining the statistics of seasonal weight gain in painstaking detail, they gifted me with”Five tips to avoid a belly like Santa” (clever body shaming tactic there, DM), which included your run-of-the mill, no-fun tips. Let’s see, there’s opting for salad over white bread (can’t I have both?), using a self-monitoring app to keep my appetite in check (no thanks?), leaving the holiday party early to go for a run (OMG SO FUN!!), and not slinging back the tequila shots to avoid extra poundage (clearly they’ve never had to deal with a mostly right-winged family).
An article for Today basically reiterated similar tips but suggested only making two strategic buffet trips like a family with only two days at Disneyland. Also, they suggested only eating THREE bites of your ONE dessert, to get the “first, middle, and last taste.” Cue the Adele because I’m actually about to cry over here. Is anyone who likes pie actually interested in the 3-bite rule? And if you are, do you know what fun feels like?
Just kidding. Obviously, you do you, and if you’re into Today‘s military-style “three bite only” rule, then, as Britney would say, that’s your prerogative. Clearly, I get it. The holiday season is a time when people throw all normal dietary restrictions to the wind, and the media thinks they need to weigh in on why you shouldn’t do that like they get paid to do it or something. Holiday diet tips are a dime a dozen on the Internet these days. At this point, we’re used to getting Christmas week diet tips shoved down our throats starting November 1. Seasonal dieting tips are no different from everyday dieting tips except replace “tequila” with “eggnog” on your list of things to avoid, and there you go.
If there’s one time when we should be encouraged to say ‘screw it’ to anything approved by Jillian Michaels, it should be the holiday season. But how many publications actually encourage you to enjoy the holidays and have fun with your diet? Not many. From a quick search for “holiday eating” on Google, here are some of the top no-fun results:
We’ve got moderation, planning, and avoidance, but where in God’s name is the fun? Why would I want to avoid a holiday food hangover when it’s the one time of year when it’s socially acceptable to Instagram how miserable I am in sweatpants on the couch because I ate 29 bites of the best chocolate pie Khloe Kardashian definitely didn’t make? Maybe we should stop assuming that everyone is into dieting and obsessing over the appearance of their bodies over the holidays and assume that people DO want to 1. eat whatever they feel like 2. not worry about their diets for once and 3. have some freakin’ fun. Of course, there can be a place for the overdone holiday meal plan, but why can’t they be reserved to health publications, certified nutritionists, and, you know, not EVERY SINGLE PUBLICATION ever invented? Sorry, Vogue, but if I want diet tips, you’re not at the top of my list of websites to visit to get that kind of knowledge.
It’s probably redundant to say that this holiday season, like all other 23 I have lived through, I will not be following any dietary tips or restrictions. YOLO will be my middle name, and I’m gonna eat my grandma’s cookies like there’s no tomorrow. I’ve got the other 51 weeks of the year to worry about salads, oats, and weird iPhone food logs. So if you’re like me and plan on enjoying every bite of Christmas until it’s gone, I’m happy to have you here with me. If not, then godspeed.