Healthy Holidays │ 10 Ways to Eat Over the Holidays
The holidays can be a true challenge for the healthy habits we've been developing, modifying, and refining throughout the year. Many people are scared of the holiday season, fearing that they will undermine their good habits and undo all of their hard work. Rather of flushing our health habits down the toilet this holiday season, let us find a method to fuel our bodies while enjoying the festivities. We can all have a good time while being healthy.
- Eat Regularly: If you can maintain a steady blood sugar level and hunger throughout the day, you'll be in a better position to make smart choices when sugary and processed meals are offered. This could mean foregoing a sweet entirely or indulging in a small portion of a favorite. So you don't go to a holiday celebration hungry, eat some nutritious meal selections throughout the day.
- Fill Your Plate with Nutritious Dishes First: When attending a holiday celebration, try to start with nourishing foods. If you're still hungry later, go back for those more decadent options when you're almost full. Remember to choose vegetables whenever they are available, even if they aren't your favorite foods. But beware: not all holiday vegetables are good for you!
- Stay hydrated: Keeping hydrated can help you avoid overeating by curbing your sugar cravings. If you have a desire for junk food, use it as a cue to drink a full glass of water first. Then, before indulging in the treat, reconsider your craving.
- Bring Your Own Treats: If ever you find yourself in a position in gatherings where all the foods you've been avoiding are offered, during times like that it would be a lifesaver if you brought a little healthy snack. You can munch on something healthier that you bought and avoid going hungry throughout the rest of the party.
- Choose Items You Enjoy: Look through the menu options and note the foods you don't care for vs the must-have delights you anticipate over the holidays. Balance is the key to good health (nutritional and emotional). Don't place the item you're eyeing on your plate if it's not on your "must have" list. Only make one or two exceptions for the products that are the most important part of your Christmas ritual. You can avoid falling victim to everything that is put in front of you if you have a prioritized plan.
- Make Healthy Versions of Your Holiday Favorites: The majority (if not all) of people's holiday favorites may be made healthier. Make a list of your holiday must-haves and look up recipes that fit your healthy eating habits on the internet.
- Be Cautious of Beverages: Be wary of alcoholic beverages, as they can lower inhibitions and lead to poor eating habits. In addition, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages can be high in calories, carbohydrates, and sugar. Drinks with little or no sugar are best. A wine spritzer (wine and club soda mixed together) is an excellent method to cut back on alcohol and sugar. Alternating between alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages will keep you hydrated while also balancing your sugar/carb and alcohol intake.
- Use Your Fullness Indicator: Just because food is on your plate or within reach doesn't mean you have to consume mindlessly. Check in with yourself and aim for a fullness of approximately 7/10—nice and full but not bursting at the seams.
- Remember the 80/20 Rule: This rule encourages you to eat 80 percent nutritious, healthy food while allowing 20% of your food intake to be indulgent or less than ideal. This rule doesn't work for everyone, especially people with sugar addictions who discover that they "can't just have one" or who travel down a rapid and furious rabbit hole of poor eating decisions when they eat unhealthy foods. The 80/20 rule, on the other hand, is a good guideline for eating healthy without feeling deprived of the season's treats for some people.
- Maintain Your Routine: The holiday's spontaneity and loose routines can throw our typical schedule off. Many people thrive on routine, which makes it easier for them to stick to their healthy habits. Keep as much structure as possible: food plan, eat frequently, exercise regularly, and wake up and go to bed at the same time every day. Some people find that planning/scheduling their holiday activities (cooking, traveling, gift exchanges, meals, etc.) for specified times can help them stay organized.
At the end of the day it all comes down to self-control and discipline. This holiday season, eat well and be merry!