With Halloween in the rear view mirror, the excitement for the holiday season kicks in and there is an abundance of savory food, sweet cocktails…and choices. If you are focused on nutrition goals, this time of year can be stressful. You might even be dreading the weeks leading to New Years.
The good news is that with planning and discipline you can enjoy the festivities without sacrificing your goals . Your success during the holidays will be determined by how you navigate eating and drinking at social events, family gatherings and parties.
Remember – living a healthy lifestyle means including your favorite foods in moderation.
How To Enjoy The Holidays Without Sacrificing Your Waistline
Most gatherings are a time to enjoy family and friends. Focus on socializing instead of appetizers and snacks to avoid mindless eating. Easily tempted by finger foods? Stand at least an arm’s length away from the snacks.
Savor the Flavors
Take your time to enjoy your favorites. Eat slowly & savor the texture and smell. Put your fork down between bites and socialize. It takes time for your head to realize you’re full. Wait before going back for seconds.
Pre Festivity Workout
Yes, really! Start the day by fitting in a workout. No gym? No problem! Do a HIIT workout at home. Choose 7 body weight exercises and do each one for 30 seconds with a 10 second rest in between, repeat 3 times.
Cocktails can be part of your festivities. Cut down on calories – stick to light beer, red wine or hard alcohol mixed with light mixers like sparkling water or club soda.
Before you put any food on your plate, walk around the buffet so you know your choices. The “plate” goal is that 2/3 is lean protein, vegetables and salad. Fill the gaps with small portions of your favorites to satisfy your craving with fewer calories.
Don’t Arrive Hungry
You will be less tempted to go overboard on eating if you have a healthy meal that includes lean protein and vegetables before you arrive.
Staying hydrated fills you up. Drink water throughout the day.
Bring Your Own Dish
Not sure what is on the menu? Bring a side dish so that you are guaranteed to have one healthy option to put on your plate. Here are some recipe ideas from one of our favorite recipe sites – Skinnytaste.
Remember – living a healthy lifestyle means including your favorite foods in moderation. Enjoy a sliver of Grandma’s pumpkin pie, but avoid using the holiday season as an excuse to over consume food and alcohol. If there is an event where you overindulge, don’t throw in the towel on your nutrition goals. Forgive yourself and get back on track the next day!