Staying Healthy through the Holidays
Worried about gaining weight over the holidays? Here are a few tips to keep your health on track! First let’s talk about moderation. If you want a cookie, have a cookie, but maybe eating 12 cookies isn’t the best option. Allow yourself to have some treats here and there, but do keep portion control in mind. Try adding some fresh vegetables to your plate to balance out all the delicious meat that is typically served over the holidays. Restricting foods can typically can lead to overeating, so allowing yourself to have the items you enjoy, in moderation, can be a great tool to use over the holidays.
Along with restricting specific foods, it is also important to stick with consistent meals and snacks throughout the day even if you are planning to have a big holiday meal that evening. Skipping meals and going for long periods of time without eating may leave you so hungry, that by dinnertime, you overeat. For meals leading up to this holiday feast, try including nutrient dense foods such as whole grains, fruits, legumes, and fiber-rich vegetables. Examples of these foods include:
- Whole-wheat bread/english muffins, whole wheat spaghetti, quinoa, brown rice, oats
- Apples, pears, prunes, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries
- Navy, pinto, kidney, black beans, lentils, lima beans
- Artichokes, winter squash, broccoli, brussel sprouts, spinach
Portion control is also something to keep in mind during the holiday season. When dining out, consider splitting your meal with someone or asking if they can put half of the meal in a to-go box prior to bringing out your food. Also, when enjoying your holiday meals, make your own plate so that you can control the amount of food that you are consuming. You can always eat your favorites, but eating proper portions and eating mindfully can make a bigger impact on your health without impacting your waistline. Another tip would be to opt for a smaller plate to help you eat less, while the plate looks fuller. Make sure to prioritize the foods you “love” and skip the food you just “like”. Despite what your grandma may say, you don’t have to get everything that is being served.
Hydration is another important factor that people tend to forget! This holiday season, try to drink one glass of water between each festive cocktail or soft drink that you have at that holiday party. This will keep your body hydrated and could even help you by drinking less, and consuming less hidden sugars and calories that are often found in celebratory drinks. Bringing a cute or fun water bottle with you at all times can be a great reminder to stay hydrated! If you don’t have one, ask for one for holidays!
Take it one step at a time. Enjoy the holiday festivities while staying healthy!