It’s not easy. “Eating healthy” and “holidays” don’t necessarily gel well - even in sentence form. Temptations are around every corner, and holiday events and travel override daily routines. So how do you maintain a reasonable, healthy eating plan when everyone around you is bingeing? Here are 12 tips that can help you avoid the holiday trap and stay focused:
1. Engage in mindful eating. Slow down, savor the smells and texture of the food, and appreciate the joy of having family and friends around you. The holidays are perfect for being mindful and more aware of what you consume.
2. Avoid skipping meals to save room for a huge feast. Chances are you will be more hungry and more liable to overeat.
3. You’re not going to say no that party. So offer to bring a healthy dish--even if you’re the only one that eats it.
4. If you can no longer avoid your aunt’s sweet potato (or pumpkin) pie, cut back on carbs like potatoes and breads to balance it out.
5. Eat your vegetables first. It will take the edge off your appetite and lessen the opportunity for overindulgence.
6. Start with a soup or salad before moving on to a lean protein. By the time you get to the red velvet cake, a few bites will be all you need to be satisfied.
7. Avoid or limit your alcohol consumption. Sounds crazy, I know. But your body will thank you in the long run.
8. Staying active is the one secret holiday weapon people do not use enough. The more you move, the less opportunities you’ll have to binge on leftovers.
9. The holidays are the one season that if you snooze, you will NOT lose. Adequate sleep will ensure you make decisions that are health positive and keep you on the right track.
10. Listen to your body. Don’t ignore your internal cues of hunger and satiety.
11. Keep an eye on your portion sizes. Little known fact: you can gain weight by going overboard with the “seemingly-healthy” options of veggies and dip or asparagus soup as much as you can with ice cream.
12. If you give yourself permission to enjoy the indulgence guilt-free, be sure to jump back on track the very next day.
Make sure to check back weekly for more tips on eating healthy, staying active, and living an overall fit lifestyle!