The holiday season is upon us! With Thanksgiving a few days away and Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Year’s Eve quickly approaching, it is hard to stay on track with healthy eating. Temptations are everywhere! From the holiday parties, to the extra sweets that your co workers bring into the office, it becomes increasingly hard not to give into temptation! Well, I have some tips to help you stay on track, not feel restricted, and still enjoy the holidays without gaining the dreaded 3-4 pounds that the average American puts on during the holiday season!
1. Drink water and limit alcohol! You should be drinking between 80-120 oz of water each day. This is something that I struggle with on a daily basis, but I am making an effort to carry a water bottle with me and I have been adding lemon or cucumber to my water to make it a little more interesting. During the holidays it is easy to drink unhealthy beverages such as alcohol, egg nog, hot chocolate, and punch. I suggest drinking a couple of glasses of water before your next holiday party to make you feel full and therefore, you will be less likely to indulge in unhealthy foods and beverages. With that said, I would still enjoy a glass of wine at a party. Just drink it slowly and stop at one drink. Don’t drink your calories!!
2. Continue to workout. Food is only part of the equation when it comes to gaining weight during the holidays. Staying on track with your exercise routine is crucial. Be sure to exercise for a minimum of 30 minutes each day. Exercising every day will help boost metabolism and burn off those extra calories you may consume during the holiday season. I even suggest adding a little extra time to your workouts a few days before and a few days after a holiday. It can be something as simple as parking farther away and walking to your destination, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or taking your dog for a walk.
3. Portion control. It’s ok to treat yourself during the holidays, but don’t go crazy. Moderation is the key! You can enjoy those sweet treats but just have 1 cookie not 4 , or take a few bites of your favorite dessert or share it with a friend/significant other instead of eating the entire thing. Another trick is to use a smaller plate and load it with healthy food first. Be sure to choose food items that contain protein, healthy fats, and and whole grains. Also…resist the temptation to go back for seconds!
4. Bring your own food. Many times you do not know all of the ingredients used in the food at parties, restaurants, or family dinners. Whether you are going to a holiday party or Thanksgiving dinner at your family’s house, bring a healthy appetizer, side dish or dessert. Bring a veggie tray, salad, cauliflower mash, or fresh fruit. This way you can eat one thing without the guilt!
5. Eat a small snack before heading out to a party. Having a small healthy snack, such as a bowl of fruit or a protein bar, before you head off to that holiday party will help you to feel satisfied and you will be less likely to indulge while you are socializing at the company holiday party!
The holidays are a time to celebrate and spend time with friends and family! They only come around once year so you should not restrict yourself to the point where you are not enjoying yourself. My motto is “everything in moderation”! It’s ok to have a cookie, slice of cake/pie, stuffing or even that glass of wine. Just eat in moderation and stop after that one slice of cake or that scoop of stuffing! One day of indulgence will not ruin months worth of progress. Don’t let it derail you! Just be sure to start fresh the next day and return to your healthy eating habits and exercise routine.
I hope you all enjoy the holidays with your friends and family!