We are in the last stretch of the year that is filled with holidays, social event (which of course focus around food), and work parties. Between all these events it can be very challenging to stay on track with our health goals… even when we have the best intentions. I have put together my best healthy eating tips and tricks to help you stay on track this holiday season:
⦁ Avoid opening any candy bags until Halloween. This helps us to avoid temptations to grab a small piece every time we walk into the kitchen.
⦁ Pick out candy that you don’t like. I know that it is not in my best interest to bring in Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups into the house. That throws all self restraint out the window…so keep it simple, for me this means buying Almond Joy’s.
⦁ Have a plan for you AND the kids about what you will do with the candy. Will you allow one piece to go with each day for lunch as a treat for the rest of the week? Is there a local dentist that will buy it back and help your kids make some cha-ching in the process?
⦁ Make sure you prep and pack healthy whole foods snacks like an apple, raw cashews, hard-boiled egg, string cheese or celery with almond butter to provide you with the right energy and avoid raiding the candy jar in the afternoon.
⦁ Do not avoid eating throughout the day. If your plan is to have dinner with family or friends, make sure to have a balanced breakfast and lunch to avoid becoming overly hungry for the holiday meal.
⦁ Limit the amount of appetizers that you eat prior to the meal. Take a small plate and then walk out of the room to avoid mindless snacking.
⦁ Enjoy the leftovers! Isn’t this one of our favorite things?!?! Make sure to add some non-starchy vegetables, at least 50% of your plate, to balance out the leftover sweet potatoes and turkey.
⦁ Avoid trying ALL the cookies. Only take the cookie that is a MUST have every year. You know what I’m talking about…for me it’s the peanut butter balls (can you see there is a theme with me and peanut butter?!?!) that my best friends mom’s makes every year when she comes to visit.
⦁ Look for lower calorie drink options. Cider, Hot Chocolate, Fancy Coffee drinks or other alcoholic beverages start to add. Research also shows that if you hold your drink in your non-dominate hand that you will drink slower, therefore drinking less throughout the party. Always a good idea to stay hydrated and drink lots of water!
⦁ Holidays are the time of year that we catch up with family, friends, coworkers and teachers instead of being focused on the food. Enjoy the company, conversation has no calories!
So ultimately remember that it’s a HoliDAY not a holiWEEK and enjoy a couple treats here and there. If you do over indulge, don’t beat yourself up! Acknowledge it for what it is and get right back on track! Don’t put added pressure on yourself to try to lose 5 pounds either. The holidays can be a hard time to lose weight, as many schedules are interrupted by parties and events. Try to maintain, not gain, during the holidays.
What tricks to you use to stay on track during the holidays?