It's the time of year that everyone loves: the holidays! But with all of the fun also comes lots of yummy food that isn't always the healthiest. It's important to enjoy this time of year, but also to avoid the consequences of enjoying ourselves a little too much. Fear not, I'm here to help with a few tips. You can use all of them or pick and choose the ones that work for you. I don't think we need to be too crazy about being restrictive on these special days. As long as we treat them like the special occassion they are and eat well most other days, it's fine. At the same time, I don't want you to have that sick, overstuffed feeling that no one likes.
Note: Even though I'm posting this with the fall and winter holidays in mind, these tips can apply to any holiday or special event.
- If you're not hosting the event, offer to bring something to make things easier on your host. That way, you can make sure there is a healthy option available to fill up on.
- If you are the host, make sure you're making your dishes with real, whole foods rather than relying on processed, chemical nastiness. Even if you do eat a little too much, it will all be things that your body can work with. If you need inspiration, check my previous post on Thanksgiving recipe ideas.
- Be active! Whether it's a workout before the meal or a walk with the group after, find a way to get your body moving. Not only will this make you feel great and give you an energized glow, but it also discourages you from over-eating. That awesome feeling you get from exercise and being stuffed just don't go together.
- Make half your plate non-starchy vegetables (just like any other day). Filling up on these nutritious, lower-calorie options will ensure that you can still enjoy your favorite foods, but not eat too much.
- Stick to one plate rather than going back for seconds or thirds. Get a little bit of everything you want and enjoy it. The first few bites are always the best and, after that, it often just becomes mindless.
- Be a picky eater. Don't feel pressured to put every item offered on your plate. I love food and I am not about to give up precious tummy room for something I'm not crazy about. Only select the items that are your favorites and leave the other filler foods behind.
- Slow down and enjoy each bite as well as the company of those around you. This is one I especially struggle with because it is my natural tendency to shove my food down as fast as possible. Something I need to work on. :)
- One day isn't going to make or break you as far as your health goals are concerned. The important thing is not to let one day turn into a week or month of over indulgence.
- Remember what the holiday is about. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in the logistics of a special get together or only think about the food, so focus instead on celebrating the true meaning of the holiday.
How do you stay healthy during the holidays? Share in the comments below!