This basically consists of paying attention to when you are hungry and full, taking in as many of your calories from unprocessed foods as possible, generally avoiding sugar, and trying to get carbs in their complex rather than simple forms. Whole-grain bread may have carbs, but their complex structure doesn’t produce the same insulin spike that simple starches in potatoes do. Mindful eating still means you get to have candy and cookies and cakes on occasion—you just eat them in moderation. You’re likely to break strict rules. General guidelines, on the other hand, are very sustainable.
You can help stave off the pounds by getting plenty of physical activity. Then again, the holidays aren’t exactly the time of year you’re most likely to pick up a new intense exercise habit. So start small. Don’t worry what the magazines say is the “best” form of exercise. There isn’t one. It’s true that most people can’t lose weight doing just cardio, and that strength training can increase your baseline metabolism, so you might be tempted to opt into powerlifting. But it’s also true that people who hate lifting weights will never stick with it long enough to see the results, and equally true that those who loathe the elliptical will inevitably give up.