Healthy Holiday Eating
They call it “Holiday weight” for a reason. It’s easy for us to lose sight of our health goals over the holiday season. Frequent eating, drinking, and being merry have a clear nutritional dark side. Other less obvious factors can contribute to weight gain around the holidays including: increased stress levels, travel, and the interruption of routine. Here are some tips for avoiding the holiday bulge.
Of course we want to try all of the delicious mountains of food that everyone took careful planning and time to prepare. Believe it or not you can do this without having to loosen your belt after your meal. The trick is to grab the smallest plate and put small amounts of everything you want to try on your plate instead of large scoops where your plate is overflowing. A smaller plate automatically helps to dramatically decrease your portion size. You can taste a little bit of everything and always go back for seconds if there’s something you really enjoyed! This also minimizes the amount of food wasted in situations where your eyes may have been bigger than your stomach.
Another easy trick is to skip the bread and butter, literally, who needs a dinner roll when you have other delicious holiday fixings?
The same goes for desserts. For example, instead of eating 5 cookies try half splitting with a friend or family member, or a piece of a few, equaling out to 1-2 cookies total, while tasting a variety. (Only if they are Grandma’s homemade cookies, skip all of the basic bitch -processed, boxed, pre-made, in a can, cut and bake sugar cookies)
If you’re going to a friend’s house bring a healthy dish, this way you can guarantee there will be a healthy option to fill up on.
Drink a lot of water! Holiday food staples are typically high in sodium which dehydrates cells, so water is essential for keeping your cells in osmotic balance. As an added bonus water helps by discouraging over-indulging at the dinner table. Alcohol consumption will only pile on empty calories and further deplete cells. Don’t risk potential headaches and restless sleep during a fun filled long weekend. But how do you avoid that Holiday hangover? Try this. Take a moment to enjoy that glass of wine. TASTE IT. Assess its aroma, color, and body. Consider the terroir of its origin. Mindful drinking this holiday season can be very rewarding, especially for your waistline.
Fill up on Fiber
Many people try and “save up” by not eating the entire day until their holiday gathering and then end up over indulging.
Fill up a few hours before your event with lots of fiber rich foods. This will keep you full and less ravenous at the party so you can enjoy only the quality foods and drinks you are looking forward to and not overdoing it.
When you have some fiber slowly digesting and keeping you satisfied you will make better selections and not go on a feeding frenzy like you just got off of a deserted island.
Afternoon snack for pre-party fiber fuel could include:
High fiber crackers with a protein or healthy fat like avocado or hummus.
Celery+hummus, almond butter, etc.
Find time for Fitness
Maybe you’re out of town and don’t have access to a gym since you’re staying with your Family. Go for a walk, visit your high school and run around the track. In a new area? Look up what workout studios are popular and pop in to try a new class.
Get your workout in early before the day gets crazy with cooking, travel, or family.
Bond with your family using fitness and help everyone balance out their upcoming calorie intake. Organize an energetic activity to do with your family or friends, backyard football, a scavenger hunt, a hike, a walk along the beach, a yoga youtube video, anything to get the blood flowing instead of sitting around on the couch all day.
Your New Years Resolution doesn’t have to be focused on losing weight if you are mindful of your eating and drinking right now and throughout the holidays. Don’t give up on your health goals for the current year!