Health & Well-Being

Holiday Treats: If You Don’t Love ‘Em, Don’t Eat ‘Em

The holidays are times to celebrate with family and friends. For some, that means a feeding frenzy starting with Halloween and ending on Super Bowl Sunday.

As we head into this season, I want to share three of my favorite holiday tips. You can use these tips throughout the year.

1. If you don’t love it, don’t eat it

Whether you’re at a holiday party or in your work breakroom, you may come across a table overloaded with treats. You pick up something, take a bite… it’s not that great, yet you eat it anyway. Has that happened to you? (Guilty as charged!)

I guarantee this: If you don’t like the first bite, the second bite is no better. High expectations often end in disappointment. Don’t bother. There’s no benefit in eating it, is there?

Should you take a bite and love it, enjoy! Eat without guilt. But again, if you don’t love it, don’t eat it!

2. Mind Your BLTs

I’m not talking about bacon, lettuce, tomato BLTs. Nope. BLTs are nutrition-speak for bites, licks, and tastes.

Have you ever thought about how much you eat as you go through your day? Let’s have a look.

  1. You make your usual morning stop at your favorite coffee shop. They’re handing out samples of their special holiday coffee drink, so you have one.
  2. At work, a vendor brings in some candy. They’re small, so one or two won’t hurt you.
  3. At the holiday office party that afternoon, you stand near the food and eat more chips than you had intended. (Some advice: At parties, stand as far away from the food table as you can. Focus on coworkers, friends, family, whomever. Keep your mouth going with conversation, not food.)
  4. You stop at the grocery store on your way home. There, you enjoy a few samples as you shop. (Perhaps you think, “I’ve blown this day already.”)
  5. At home, your daughter brought some treats home from her class party. How sweet she thought of you! You indulge.
  6. Only a few bites of casserole remain after dinner. Why waste it?


What did all those BLTs add up to? A lot — in addition to the meals you ate, as well. There is nothing wrong with an occasional treat if you’re mindful.

But remind yourself of my first tip: If you don’t love it, don’t eat it.

Choose your bites, licks, and tastes with care.

3. The 80/20 Rule

The 80/20 Rule is how I eat. Eighty percent of the time, I’m mindful and eat nutrient-rich foods. Twenty percent of the time, I allow some indulgence.

It’s okay to get off course. I do. So do we all. But people tend to get off course and seldom get back on. If you get off course, get right back on track. One party, one day, one weekend, one week — even a holiday season won’t make or break you. Just get back on track.

Use these tips and you’ll fly into 2022 with confidence. After all, you’ll know you took care of yourself.


Jennifer “Neily” Neily, MS, RDN, FAND

Jennifer “Neily” Neily, MS, RDN, FAND. Award-winning Dallas-based registered dietitian nutritionist and Wellcoach® certified health coach, Jennifer Neily has a virtual coaching practice – Through her whole-person comprehensive one-on-one approach she helps women build a healthier relationship with food and gain trust and confidence in themselves to ultimately have more freedom and energy to enjoy life. For more info visit:

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