5 Healthy Holiday Eating Tips
As the end of the year approaches, we all start thinking about the holiday season. Spending time with family and friends at Thanksgiving and Christmas always means EATING. When we gather with loved ones, it can be challenging to keep your appetite and will-power in check. We often overindulge, eating too much of the wrong foods and treating ourselves to too many sweets. Hopefully my 5 healthy holiday eating tips will save you some calories.
The holiday season is challenging for everyone but especially so for those of us trying to maintain healthy eating habits. Staying on track can seem so daunting, especially when you’re presented with an abundance of food and sugary drinks. Personally, I gravitate towards the chocolates, cakes, cookies and everything sweet during this time of year. I have a sweet tooth that, if I don’t keep it under control, will end up controlling me.
So, if you don’t choose wisely, you’ll end up with a few extra pounds and a new pants size by the time the new year rolls in. That’s why, I want to share these 5 healthy holiday eating tips.
#1 Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate!
Make sure you are getting plenty of water. Staying hydrated does a lot for your body and the added benefit of drinking plenty of water is that it makes you feel full. I usually drink about 8 to 12 ounces right before a meal and it helps me not eat as much. Check out my Instagram for tips on jazzing up your water.
#2 Do NOT Starve Yourself to Save Room for the Feast
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people say, “I’m not going to eat too much, I’m saving my calories for the Thanksgiving feast”. Starving yourself throughout the day so you can indulgence later is a recipe for overeating. Because by the time you get to the food, you’re STARVING and will eat anything on a plate and then some. When we starve, our brain gets the signal that food is scarce. So once we get food, our body shovels as much of it as quickly as possible in case we have to starve again. When we eat quickly we also overwhelm the body’s ability to tell when it is full and we don’t give our body enough time to properly digest the food. This type of eating could cause indigestion, bloating and other stomach issues. The solution, eat a few healthy snacks throughout the day leading up to the meal.
#3 Plan Ahead
Plan ahead of that big dinner party or Thanksgiving feast by cutting back on what you’re eating on the days leading up to that moment. For example, at least a week before Thanksgiving dinner or holiday party, start cutting back on calories. This will allow you to relax and enjoy the time with family and friends and not worrying about calories. This tip removes any guilt of eating too many calories at one meal.
#4 Practice Mindful Eating
Mindful eating calls for more awareness around how, when and what you eat. It allows you to take smaller bites, chew your food slowly and enjoy the experience. Be aware of the taste, texture and smell of the food with each bite. The idea is to make eating enjoyable and satisfying without rushing. It also helps to you to become a communal eater. Talking to people while you eat, cutting your food into small pieces, and drinking water as you eat will make for a more satisfying experience.
#5 Pay Close Attention to What’s Going on Your Plate
It’s important to organize your plate so that you’re eating the nutrients your body needs while still enjoying and treating yourself. Incorporate lean protein, healthy vegetables and good carbs. Pay close attention to adding too much dressing, heavy gravy or unnecessary sweets to your main plate. Dressings and gravy are culprits that pack on unnecessary calories. Also, skip candied anything and save your sweet tooth for your dessert plate.
It’s important to stay on track during the holiday season. The whole point of it all is to find a healthy balance. These are my tips that I practice so that in January, I’m not stressing about how much weight I’ve gained and how to lose it.
Start small with a couple of these tips and find what makes you happy and satisfied. Remember, the holiday season is not just about eating, but it’s also about enjoying life and spending time with family and friends.
Check out these healthy sides that are easy to prepare and your taste buds and waistline will thank you.
Some of the photos in this post are courtesy of Pexels