The holidays are a special time of the year. A time to enjoy family, friends and yes.... FOOD! Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to enjoy the holidays and still maintain some semblance of healthy eating.
So here are my top ten tips for healthy eating during the holiday season:
Avoid the all or nothing mentality of "I'll eat whatever I want now because I am starting a "diet" (I hate that word) in January. This mindset can lead us down a slippery slope of overeating foods we may not even want. How did the "diet" you started last January work? Aiming to Maintain your weight over the next couple of weeks is a much healthier mindset and more realistic approach to health.
3 BITE RULE
Lets be honest, swearing off desserts is not a very realistic or fun approach to a happy holiday. The first couple of bites of a treat always taste the best. Ask yourself after three bites if the dessert is really as good as you thought. If the answer is no - push the plate away.
BECOME A FOOD SNOB
Don't waste calories on foods you can have any time. Save your splurges for special foods that only come around once a year. Why waste calories on chips and dip when you only get Grandma's fudge once a year?
GET IN THE HABIT OF FILLING HALF YOUR PLATE WITH FRUITS AND VEGGIES AT REGULAR MEALS
Get into the habit of adding an extra serving of veggies to every meal this holiday season. This will improve your health and the extra fiber may help to keep your belly full when you head out to a holiday party.
SURVEY THE SCENE AT A HOLIDAY PARTY
Survey the whole buffet table before you start piling things on your plate. Decide what you want to have, serve yourself and walk away from the table. Standing next to the table makes it really easy to go back for seconds or thirds. Eating off a dessert plate is a great way to trick your mind into thinking you are eating more than you really are.
DON'T GO HUNGRY
Skipping meals to save calories for a dinner party almost never works. It is hard to make sane food choices when you are super hungry. Try starting your day with a high fiber, high protein breakfast and grab a snack about an hour before you head out to the party.
ADOPT THE WATER RULE
This Trick Really Works!
No, I am not suggesting you only drink water, that's no fun! Simply alternate a bottle of water for every caloric drink you consume and always start with water!
All those BLT's (bites, licks, tastes) while cooking really add up. Try popping a stick of gum into your mouth while preparing food to avoid constant munching.
MOVE YOUR BODY
Sadly, exercise is often the first item crossed off our to-do list when life gets busy. Fitting in even just 15-20 minutes of exercise can help increase energy and decrease stress.
BE KIND TO YOURSELF
Feeling guilty about every morsel of food you put into your mouth is not a happy way to spend the holidays. Christmas cookies, special dinners and going out with friends and family are all a part of the holiday season. Try taking the focus off of food and enjoy the ones you love. That is what the holidays are all about.
I cannot wait to have all 4 of my boys under one roof! 2 are here - 2 more coming later in the week!
To Your Health - Noreen