Healthy Holidays? Mission POSSIBLE!
Healthy Holiday Tips from Recipe Rebuild
‘Tis the season for holiday feasts, tempting treats, and packed schedules. All of this can certainly wreck havoc on your healthy eating plans and exercise schedule. The key to staying healthy during the holidays is not about deprivation at all but about planning ahead!
Planning and physical activity are the overarching keys to success over the holidays. Not gaining weight over the holidays is all about balancing your energy equation – calories in and calories out. Even though maintaining an exercise schedule during the holidays is challenging – try and make it a priority. If you typically exercise 3 times a week, bump it up to 5. Involve friends and family –at least one other friend or family member will appreciate the exercise so ask someone to join you. Not only will it be more enjoyable but you will likely stick to your plan if you have company.
Be sure to eat regular meals and don’t “save yourself” for that special meal. Have healthy meals at breakfast and lunch if you have a special dinner or evening festivity coming up. Eating sensibly will help you avoid the evening gorge fest as you will likely show up ravenous and consume far more calories than you would have if you had sensible meals earlier in the day.
ENJOY! Don’t feel like you have to give up your favorite holiday foods – just be sure you have a healthy or small portion and be sure to enjoy and savor it! Choosing sensible portion sizes of the foods you enjoy allows you to control calorie intake yet still enjoy the foods you crave.
Eat slowly. All too often people overeat because they eat too fast and don’t allow their stomach the necessary time to feel full. You will likely eat less if you chew slowly and enjoy and savor your food.
Offer to bring a healthy dish. Not only will your host appreciate it, but at least you know there will be one healthy option there.
Hydrate well. Thirst is often confused with hunger. Be sure to hydrate well with water the day of a festive event.
Beware of those sneaky liquid calories! Liquid calories from soft drinks, punch, and alcohol can add up quickly. A couple alcoholic beverages on top of a large meal can really tip that scale. Overindulging in alcoholic beverages can leave you less aware of how much food you are actually consuming. Try some flavored carbonated water or simply add lemon or lime and a splash of cranberry juice to ice water. A 10-ounce Margarita can have 550 calories in it! A 4-ounce glass of red wine has about 90 calories. If you have a full calorie beverage just be sure to make it last and once again – taste it and enjoy it.
Strategic positioning and planning is not just for sports! If you are at a holiday party, be sure to position yourself away from the food table where constant nibbling and munching is so easy. Remember, conversation is calorie free so migrate away from the food and toward the people you enjoy socializing with. Also, when you walk into a party or meal, scan your options and make a game plan. See something you cannot live without? Go ahead and enjoy but make sure your other choices are healthier to help balance that plate. Stick to your game plan and decisions – why waste calories on foods that do not bring you pleasure?
Lose the guilt. It is hard not to slip up during the holidays and if one meal or party goes by that was hard to be healthy at – acknowledge it, briefly examine what went wrong so you can be ware at the next event and simply recommit to your plan. Eating healthy over the holidays takes practice but it can be done.
The true meaning of holidays is to be with family and friends so think about what you are celebrating and who you are celebrating with, not just about how great the food is!
Happy & Healthy Holidays!