Eating healthy during the holidays can be hard, but with a little planning you can avoid the diet pitfalls of the holiday season. Setting your goals ahead of time can make it easier to stay on track and still enjoy your favorite foods and drinks. This time of year isn’t great for strict diets, so it’s important to set realistic expectations – try to maintain and not lose weight during the holidays.
Exercise can also help during the holidays. Trying to park a little further away and walk when possible can help keep your weight in check. If you’re finding it hard to fit in longer exercise sessions, break up your routine into shorter 10‐ to 15-minute segments.
Eating a little extra during the holidays is not a crime, but following these simple tips can help you stick to your goals while still enjoying a happy and healthy holiday season.
- Start with soup or salad: You can do this by starting each meal with a soup or salad because holiday foods are richer and heavier than regular meals so that the calories can add up fast. Try to start your meal with either a broth-based soup (not cream) or a salad (no heavy dressing). With something healthy already in your stomach, it’s easier to eat smaller portions of your favorite higher calorie foods.
- Get adequate sleep: While late-night parties make it hard to stick to a regular sleep schedule, sleep deprivation can cause fatigue the following day and lead to stress & overeating. A study found that men and women who slept less than 5 hours a night were more likely to crave food and end up eating high-calorie, easily available foods.
- Booze smarter: We know cutting out alcohol completely is not realistic for most of us during the holiday season, but limiting intake is crucial for eliminating excess calories. Having a glass of water in between drinks helps to avoid drinking too much and keeps you hydrated. Also, try to N cut out sugary mixers juices and choose to sip your drink neat (on the rocks) or mixed with soda or water.
- Choose healthier cooking methods: Substitute ingredients and use lighter recipes to make healthier and lower-calorie versions of your traditional favorites.
According to nutritionists, here are some tips to help your holidays be healthier
- Bring light and healthy dishes to parties and get-togethers.
- Pick & choose your food: Look at the buffet table and choose a couple of holiday foods to enjoy rather than meals you can have any other time of the year.
- Let it be colorful: Make your plate look festive and inviting by adding lots of fresh fruits and veggies. Try to cover half of your plate with these healthier options.
- Meet the people, not the food: Try socializing away from the buffet table or bar to prevent continuous eating or drinking. Make it a point to have to cross the room to refill your glass or plate.
- Start saying No to those food pushers: We all have few food pushers at every party or family gathering. Think of a few strategies ahead of time to decline seconds, and try to fill your plate yourself to have smaller portions.
- Eat slowly and don’t stuff yourself: Avoid that heavy stuffed feeling after eating a meal. Eat slowly, and check your fullness level while you’re eating. Also, try to drink lots of water before and during your meal. This will help fill you up so you can resist that extra helping.
- Follow the ‘three-bite rule: One full-sized dessert may sabotage your dieting efforts. It’s better to choose one dessert per meal and then have just three bites of it. Using this rule of thumb can save you 200-500 calories.
- Wear tight clothes: No joke. A tight outfit is a great way to stay conscious of the amount you’re eating.
- Stick to regular portion sizes: To stay healthy, try to stick to just one plate and normal-sized portions when you sit down at a holiday meal.
Remember, the season is all about celebrating and connecting with the people you care about, so concentrate more on the fun, and it will be easier to focus less on the food.
myOnsite wishes you a happy and healthy Season Greetings!