Healthy Eating Tips for the Holiday Season
It is no secret that we tend to over indulge during the holidays. Our days are filled with socializing with friends, co-workers, and family over a beautiful spread of amazing food that is usually not the healthiest. Having control during the holiday season can be a difficult task, but it is possible. We can’t possibly avoid grandma’s famous holiday dish, but we can take steps to avoid over indulgence and to eliminate other unneeded calories throughout the day.
Change Your Mindset
The average American gains seven to ten pounds between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Being mindful is a great way to avoid packing on these unwanted pounds. Focus on the extra opportunities to be healthy during the holiday season. For example, observance of holidays results in less work days for the average American. Use this as an opportunity to add extra exercise into your week. As the children are home from school, plan an activity that can be fun for the whole family. Sometimes make it a family affair adds extra motivation and encourages working harder throughout your workout. Plan meals and choose to eat frequently to avoid over indulging on the unhealthy foods. Focus your mind on the increase in sugary foods throughout the holiday season. Awareness is a great way to avoid giving into the peer pressure of holiday chocolate and other sweet treats. Although you may have a lineup of holiday parties on your list of weekend events in December, try to moderate alcohol consumption. Increase your water intake to fill your stomach and reduce the desire for over eating or over drinking.
Planning Your Holiday Schedule
Take some time before you head out with family on the holiday to plan. A little extra time planning before the holiday festivities can be beneficial in reducing the likelihood of following the seven to ten pound trend that most Americans add to their waist line this time of year. On the day of your holiday events, be sure to prepare a hearty breakfast. Fill up on fruits, vegetables, and healthy proteins to kick start your metabolism and fill your stomach. If you anticipate available snack foods to be particularly fattening, pack a few snacks to bring with you. Follow your normal routine of eating something every 3-4 hours to avoid the overwhelming feeling of hunger in front of all those aromatic food dishes. Even if your family isn’t following a healthy diet during the holidays, choose to bring a dish that incorporates healthy ingredients. A big culprit during the holidays when it comes to weight gain is portion control. Choose a smaller plate when hitting the buffet, or load up on proteins and vegetables and pay attention to sugars and carbohydrates as you pack your plate. Choose red wine for the choice alcoholic beverage during the family toast. And speaking of drinks, add a hot cup of tea to the menu before dessert. This can help to fill you up and is packed with antioxidants.
We understand that the holidays are centered around family, friends, and good food, but don’t set yourself ten steps back before the New Year! Take a few extra minutes to plan your holiday eating routine ahead of time to avoid over indulgence. If you have time for this, you are fighting half the battle with holiday weight gain!