It feels like in a blink of an eye the Holiday's arrive! I will not deny that I do love this time of year. We all work so hard and sometimes get caught in the motions of being busy! The holiday season is a time for us to reflect on 2017, gather together with close friends, family and ENJOY.
However.....as much as I want you all to indulge and enjoy, do not allow the holidays to take over your waistline! It is best to go in with a strategy and stick to it! Here are some ideas to get you started!
#1. PORTION CONTROL
Before attending or hosting a party, be sure to keep your blood sugar levels balanced by eating small balanced meals/snacks leading into the event. If you know you are going to go carb heavy at the party, then go very carb light in the earlier portion of the day. Save it for later! But, be mindful of your portions at the party! Here's a visual of how you should be filling your plate:
#2. KEEP HEALTHY SNACKS AT THE OFFICE AND AT HOME
You should all be doing this already! BUT, be more mindful of this going into the holiday season! Some healthy snacks include: unsalted nuts, seeds, trail mix, mozzarella stick, fruit, carrots, hummus, Greek yogurt, Rx Bar, Energy Balls, etc! Fail to plan, plan to fail!
Don't get caught up in the craze and forget to drink your H20!! Bring your water bottle with you and be sure to get 1/2 your body weight in ounces, daily!
#4. DO NOT GO SHOPPING HUNGRY
I repeat, DO NOT go shopping hungry! This is the worst thing you can do! We live in America where your only quick food options are the fast-food restaurants! Eat at home before & bring healthy snacks with you! Spare your health, money and calories for food that you actually LOVE to eat. Which leads me to....
#5. INDULGE IN WHAT YOU LOVE THE MOST
When you’ve allowed yourself to indulge in what you love, make sure that you are filling your plate with what you love the most. Avoid adding food or treats to your plate that you're kind of “eh” about. If you’re going to get wild, go wild on the foods that you only get to enjoy once or twice a year. Leave the “eh” foods at the sideline.
#6. ENJOY EVERY BITE
When we surround ourselves with the foods that we don’t normally eat we tend to turn into scavengers and eat as fast as we can. Getting in that moment of “oh my god, where have you been all my life?”. I know you’ve all had that moment biting into something you love. Take the time to slow down and enjoy every bite. This will avoid grabbing for second, thirds and I’m sure some of you, fourths. Remember, it takes your stomach 20 minutes to tell your brain that it’s full so the slower you eat, the better off you’ll be from over eating AND you get to enjoy each bite that much longer. So rather than racing to finish your plate first to grab onto seconds so your older brother doesn’t beat you to it (if you have older brothers, you know exactly what I mean!), see if you can outlast that need to rush to seconds…or thirds…or fourths, and enjoy every single bite!
#7. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF NUTRITIONALLY DENSE FOODS
Just because it’s a holiday season doesn’t mean that every single food item on the table carries little or no nutritional value. Yes, of course there will be some but most holiday staples are packed with protein, vegetables, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats. So, when diving in, make sure you’re grabbing the foods you love the most but additionally, fill your plate with a balance of those nutritional dense staple items.
#8. ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION
If you chose to drink alcohol, try to save yourself those extra 100 calories per glass and alternate between one glass of alcohol of choice and one glass of water or sparkling water with a lime. Not only will this help save you calorically and avoid those empty calories (and easy weight gain) but it will keep you hydrated and avoid that nasty headache the following day. Double win! You can also try the spritzer route, 1/2 wine, 1/2 club soda aka 1/2 alcohol, 1/2 (semi) hydration! Another double win!
#9. DO NOT FEEL GUILTY
As mentioned, this time of year is meant to be with family, close friends and celebrating all things that we are grateful and thankful for. With that comes rich meals and delicious treats! Take your moment, enjoy the foods and treats you love the most and move on. Don’t spend this time eating what you love while feeling guilty about it. Where’s the fun in that? Feeling guilty about enjoying foods you don’t normally eat can lead to additional unhealthy behaviors. So, ignore those negative voices in your head, give yourself the acceptance to enjoy guilt-free and remember to get back on track with your health goals the very next day. Every day is a new day and a few days out of the 6 week holiday gap will not hurt you – I promise!
#10. STAY ACTIVE
Planning a work out before or after the Holiday will help you with all the tips above! Staying active will help digest, burn and detox from which ever vice you’ve chosen. Do not wait until January 2nd to hit that reset physical activity button. Stay physically active during the holiday season. This will help keep your mind guilt-free in the environments as well as keep your body on track so you’re at a head start at tackling your 2018 health and fitness goals.
WISHING YOU ALL A HAPPY, HEALTHY AND RELAXING 2017 HOLIDAY SEASON!