Advice from Denver Life

How to keep your diet through the holidays (and other advice)

Illustration by Ingo Fast

I have spent 2019 getting myself into better shape and have lost 50 pounds. With all the invitations to parties and dinners with high-calorie food, how do I stay on the wagon? I’m thinking of taking the “just say no” approach on my RSVPs this year.Ali, Wash Park

First of all, congratulations! You’re going to have a tough time finding a New Year’s resolution to top that accomplishment! But we’re going to just say no to the “just say no” RSVP option. You did not get yourself fit and svelte so that you could stay home. You did not work on you at the expense of your relationships with friends and family. You are going to use the willpower and strategies behind your success to go out and celebrate the holiday season. Here are few suggestions: 1. Do not arrive hungry. Eat healthy food and drink a bunch of water before any event where there’s likely to be food and drink. 2. Do not eat during the first 30 minutes of the event. That’s often nervous time; reach for conversation and interaction instead of the nut bowl. 3. Avoid the mulled wine, eggnog, and punch bowl; instead, choose a glass of wine or a cocktail made with club soda. 4. Bring something healthy to eat if it’s a potluck in someone’s home. 5. If you’re eating out off a menu, do your homework. Decide in advance what you will have, and pass on the fried calamari platter others have ordered as an appetizer. Take half your meal home and have it for lunch tomorrow. 6. Ladies, carry a clutch purse. It’ll keep your hands off the meatballs. 7. Finally, ladies and gentlemen, wear something snug and new, just as a reminder. You deserve a new outfit, anyway!

My father-in-law and I do not see eye to eye on politics. I’d prefer not to discuss the topic, but he insists on bringing up his views, seemingly to taunt me. How do I handle this?Mike, Aurora

Were we always this touchy? Or did we just have the good sense to refrain from talking politics at the dinner table? Even here in a purple state, it’s become increasingly difficult to have conversations about the country we live in and the people who lead us. Try this: Write up a little response for when your wife’s father brings up politics. Something like: “Father-in-law, I think it’s pretty clear that we’re not going to change each other’s minds on this topic. There are so many more interesting and pleasant conversations we could have, I’d like us to respectfully agree, if only for the sake of the rest of the family, to avoid this one. So how about you tell me what you think about (the Broncos…the Nuggets… the latest episode of This Is Us).” Rehearse this in a friendly tone of voice so that when the big moment arrives, you can remain calm, resist the temptation to stand up and defend your party/ candidate/issue, and instead recite your lines. In a nutshell: Change the subject and pass the turkey.

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