Here are some easy ways to keep your weight, sanity, and most importantly HEALTH in check this holiday season.
1. Keep up with your workouts. Keeping your body moving will do wonders when your nutrition isn't what it normally is, and exercise has a way of promoting better nutritional decisions throughout the day. Plus, there's nothing like killing it at the gym to make you feel like you've really earned having a few of grandma's famous cookies, am I right?
2. Set a water goal for the day that you must meet before you indulge in any alcohol! Alcohol dehydrates you, so you can better avoid a terrible hangover by being hydrated before having any, as opposed to having to play catch-up later. For example, if I am going to have a glass of wine with dinner or dessert, I will only do so if I've gotten my daily gallon in for the day!
3. Limit alcoholic beverages per gathering. If you have Christmas Eve, Christmas day dinner, and an ugly sweater party to hit three days in a row, chances are there will be alcohol, sweets, breads...etc. All you need is a small plan for what you're going to have and when. This is NOT to say don't enjoy and indulge with family and friends; rather that you don't need to have 4 glasses of wine every day and night for a week! In addition to the calories from alcohol itself, you're less in control over what you eat while you're drinking.
4. Bring healthy snack foods with you to replace cookies, fudge, and other sweets that may be out. Cut up some veggies or bring a bag of berries with you so you can make the healthier choice and not feel guilty when you want to get seconds at dinner! Plus, snacking on veggies will fill you with fiber, which has been proven to keep your cravings in check.
5. Don't arrive to the gathering hungry! Eat a small meal or snack before heading out, and you'll be less likely to binge on what's in front of you later. A problem that many people have is holding out on what they eat throughout the day leading up to an event, so by the time they get there they're ravenous! Eat multiple small healthy meals throughout the day and keep your metabolism in check.
6. Distract yourself from the food table. Join a conversation or set up a puzzle table with people in another room so you aren't all standing over the food, and chances are you'll enjoy talking so much that you won't feel the need to add food to the equation!
7. Eat more slowly. Studies have shown that when people try and cram their meal into a shorter time frame, like saying "I'll only eat for a half an hour and then I'm done" eat MORE because they eat more quickly and their bodies aren't able to identify with being full as quickly. A great way to start is by putting your utensil down in between each bite.
8. Skip the sauces. Adding gravy, butter, and extra chocolate sauce to your already higher calorie meals is a recipe for feeling guilty and sluggish later. You can easily cut out 500 calories per day by simply not adding anything to what you have on your plate! Yes you're already indulging, but that doesn't mean you have to force yourself into eating everything you possibly can.
9. Start an active holiday tradition like a family walk after dinner, or a game of twister while you're waiting for the food to finish cooking. Getting everyone off of the couch and burning some calories will make everyone feel better and more in control.
10. Use smaller plates. Simply having less area to fill will force you to not only eat less, but choose your foods more wisely!
I hope you all have Happy Healthy Holidays!♥MK