The holidays can be overwhelming, and sometimes they drive us to eat! Probably more than we need to, and this can lead to feeling heavy, bloated and bit lethargic. Here are 7 simple tips to help you stay on track and keep your energy up instead.
1. Focus on Family: We know the importance of family time, especially during the holidays. Try to associate this holiday season with family, friends, and relationships. Turn your attention to fun and conversation instead of food. Create new family traditions such as attending a local 5k run or going for a regular evening walk. Reduce the amount of time you spend on the internet or watching TV.
2. Eat Before You Go: Don’t arrive to holiday parties with an empty stomach. It may seem counterintuitive to eat prior to attending an event, but why not prevent the urge to over do it by filling your belly up with fresh veggies or a tasty smoothie before leaving the house.
3. Select Small Portions: Don’t completely load up your plate. Try to limit your portions to two or three bites of each food item. There could be dozens of dishes to choose from, so consider that when you’re piling up! Trick your mind by using a smaller plate and start off with foods such as raw vegetables first.
4. Eat Mindfully: This will keep you from overeating. It’s easy to just get lost in the conversation, and the next thing you know you’ve polished off the entire dessert plate. Eat slowly, and take the time to enjoy the taste of each food. Consider whether you’re actually hungry, or just eating because you can.
5. Dine Out Smart: Research the menu at the restaurant before you go. Pick items that are made using healthier cooking methods. Avoid items that are deep-fried or cooked in a pan (anything that says sauté, stir-fry, or pan-fried); instead, choose items that are raw, steamed, or grilled. Keep it simple: sauce or dressing on the side, less sugar in your cocktail or less butter/oil in your dish, or swap out a starch for a fresh vegetable.
6. Make a Healthy Offering: Don’t be afraid to offer to bring your own healthy dish like a fresh salad or a plate of fresh fruit. Chances are the host will appreciate the thoughtfulness. Set a healthy example to your friends and family by sharing a healthy recipe.
7. Reach for the Right Sweets: Skip processed desserts that contain refined sugars, trans fats, preservatives, food coloring, and partially hydrogenated oils. Bring whole food desserts to share and satisfy your sweet tooth!
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