Eating healthy during the holidays from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day can be the hardest few weeks to stick to a healthy lifestyle or diet. We are constantly tempted by sweets, treats, and way too much food in general. Below are some tips that you can use to stay on track during the holiday season.
Our Best Tips
1) Eat before you go to any holiday gathering. Unhealthy foods can be tempting, so make sure you don’t go overboard by eating something that is healthy before you go. Try to make sure you are not hungry when you arrive, or you may be more tempted to overeat.
2) Drink some water before you go to an event and alternate higher calorie drinks like alcoholic beverages, eggnog or hot chocolate with water. Drinks can have a lot of hidden calories in them, so keep that in mind. Diet sodas are another good option if you’re looking to cut down on sugar intake.
3) Eating healthy during the holidays requires you to fill your plate with some healthy food first. Pick some raw vegetables, but go easy on the dip. Turkey breast and lean ham or pork roast are other good choices. Don’t forget a nice plate of salad with a low fat dressing and some fresh fruit for dessert! If you don’t think that there will be any healthy options available, consider bringing your own snacks.
4) Don’t completely cut your favorite holiday treats out. If you don’t allow yourself the occasional small indulgence, you will be much more likely to break down and binge on cookies and treats. The key is to enjoy small portions or bites of your favorite foods. If you have a soft side for chocolate chip cookies, then go ahead and indulge, but limit yourself to one a day or every few days.
5) Use the busy shopping season and burn some extra calories. If you are heading to the mall, park a little further away, or take your time and do a round of window shopping all through the mall before you buy. Every few extra steps that you take count. For extra motivation, consider wearing a pedometer.
6) Take some time to relax. The holidays can be a very stressful season if we let them be. Many of us tend to overeat or “medicate” ourselves with food when we are stressed. Work in some extra time just for you and remember that you deserve to reduce your stress. Sit in front of the fire with a good book or your favorite magazine, go get your nails done, take a bath or go for a walk. Do whatever works for you to help calm you down and help you reduce stress.
7) Eat several small meals a day. This old tip holds especially true during the holiday season. During this time, we tend to skip meals and indulge in one large holiday dinner with the entire family. Don’t starve yourself all day. Get some snacks in and most importantly start your day with a good, healthy breakfast. You will be able to enjoy your holiday more by stabilizing your blood sugar.
Above all, enjoy the holidays and remember they are not only about food, but more importantly about family and friends spending quality time together. Treat yourself to some new holiday candles, listen to your favorite Christmas tunes, or go for a drive through a lit up neighborhood this year. Have fun during this special time of the year and enjoy that occasional cookie.
P.S. *Ultimate Phitness offers a variety of Nutrition Programs designed to help you achieve healthier eating habits or to assist you with meal planning for different dietary needs. Click here for more information.