The holidays should be an enjoyable time, and eating healthy should not hinder your holiday festivities. We all know that the holidays bring a lot of temptation when it comes to meals and treats. For many, this can be a challenging time if you are watching your weight, dieting, or merely trying to eat healthy. However, there are several ways for one to enjoy the delicious treats and big holiday meals, while still maintaining healthy habits. Below are a few tips to help you stay on track:
Stick to Your Normal Routine: Don’t skip meals to “save room” for a big meal or party later in the day. This will leave you hungry and may lead to overindulging during a holiday event or meal. Be sure to eat before you go to an event. Eating small portions throughout the day will allow you to stay full and fight the urge to overeat.
Make Smarter Choices: Avoid unhealthy tempting snacks. Instead, fill up on vegetables and healthier choices. If you aren’t sure what choices will be available at an event, offer to bring a vegetable platter or other healthy option. This will assure you have a healthy snack choice.
Eat Sensibly/Mindfully: Using a smaller plate may help trick yourself into eating less. If you grab a large plate, chances are you will fill it, which leads to overindulging. Choosing a smaller plate limits the amount of food you can fit, and therefore limits the amount you will eat. Focus on portion sizes. Again, you do not have to cut foods out completely, but limit how much you put on your plate.
Give Yourself Some Time: While eating, take your time. After finishing a small plate of food, give yourself at least ten minutes before getting a second plate. Waiting about ten minutes, before going for seconds, allows your body to recognize that it is no longer hungry. When you feel full, STOP EATING. Drinking water while eating will also help you feel full sooner.
Watch What You Drink: Eggnog and alcoholic beverages contain a lot of hidden calories and sugar. Limit the amount of these beverages that you drink. Drink water between each beverage. Drinking water will help your body remain full, and help you limit unhealthy beverages and extra snacking.
Allow Yourself to Cheat: Completely cutting yourself off from tempting treats may lead to overindulging once you decide to allow yourself to cheat. If you really want a piece of pie or another treat, take a small portion. Eating a small portion allows you to satisfy the craving without overdoing it.
Get Moving: Go outside for a walk with a family member. Play ball with the kids. Even helping in the kitchen will get you moving. This will help keep your mind occupied, burn off extra calories, and allow less time for mindless snacking.
Use Healthier Ingredients: If you are the host of a holiday party or meal, you can be in more control of what is served. Choose healthier ingredients to incorporate into traditional holiday favorites. Use low-fat dairy products instead of whole fat. Substitute that store-bought vegetable dip for a healthier ranch made out of Greek yogurt. Substituting one or two ingredients will cut back on the fat and calorie content, while still maintaining the taste and quality of your traditional holiday favorites.
The holidays are a festive time filled with many delicious temptations. Many of us want to maintain a healthy lifestyle while still enjoying the simple pleasures associated with the season. Have your piece of pie, in moderation. Enjoy the eggnog, but limit it to one glass. Don’t focus on avoiding all the delightful treats and side dishes, and instead focus on making sensible choices while enjoying all your favorites. I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday and enjoys delicious pleasures that come with is. Remember moderation is key to a healthy holiday. Merry Christmas from Liberty HealthShare, and God Bless!