7 Tips on How to Eat Healthy During the Holidays
It’s that time of year again. The smell of gingerbread and mulled wine fills the air, fairy lights twinkle overhead, and if you’re lucky, the first snow has just fallen. It’s the most wonderful time of the year... but for many people, it can also be one of the most challenging. Food encompasses a lot of what we do as humans. For many, the holidays are synonymous with a diet full of rich foods and hidden sugars. For many, feasting and festivities come hand in hand with this special time of year. These types of gatherings usually set challenges for guests on how to manage how much “bad” food they’re eating - that mainly being high-sugar, high-fat foods. When it comes to eating healthy over the holidays, though, it’s important to indulge from time to time and not feel fear towards certain foods. That being said, it’s important to be consistent with your usual diet and ensure you are eating the proper foods to keep you feeling energized, satisfied, and healthy.
Don’t be afraid to say no.
One of the best ways to eat healthy during the holidays is to simply be aware of your own limitations and be prepared to say no to whatever might threaten your nutritional goals. Of course, it’s easier said than done. But if you promise yourself you’ll only have one slice of cake at Christmas dinner, try not to feel pressured if a family member encourages you to eat more. If you have a family member who is constantly trying to “feed you up,” or if you feel like you’re consistently being pushed to overindulge, you may want to be a little more assertive. Let your family members know that you’re satisfied and are trying to focus on eating healthier this season. Remember: It’s your choice, and you’re entitled to it!
Hit the gym. Or, at least, stay active.
Eating healthy doesn’t stop at what you put on your plate. It also includes getting enough exercise to stay fit. And while it’s true that you’ll be able to enjoy a few more treats if you add to your gym time or other forms of exercise, remember that you should be eating to work out, not working out to eat. However, being more active can help combat a bit of the extra calories you might eat during holiday parties and gatherings.
Watch your alcohol consumption.
The holidays are a great time to let loose and catch up with old friends and family members. However, as fun as it is to go out and socialize, alcohol consumption is directly related to weight gain. For example, if you’re planning to have a few drinks, you’ll want to select a beverage that’s relatively low in sugar. You’ll also want to ensure that you avoid having too many alcoholic beverages, while they are high in calories, they also have a host of other unwanted side effects.
Pro tip: Have a light dinner before you go out; that way, you won’t feel hungry and over-indulge later!
That being said, if you’re going out for dinner, you may want to consider having a relatively light dinner or a snack before you go out. It’s natural for people to overeat at restaurants so if you eat a little beforehand you can make sure that you’re eating something nutritious. If you’re dining at a sit-down restaurant, try to order an appetizer or some side dishes. Bottom line, remember: Don’t beat yourself up if you overindulge a little bit here and there. The holidays are a time to relax and enjoy yourself, so don’t feel like you have to be perfect!
The holidays are a special time of year, but that doesn’t mean you have to let them rule your diet. By being a little bit prepared and assertive when necessary, you can easily eat healthy while enjoying all the festivities that come with this special time of year.
If you follow these tips, you should be able to enjoy the holidays and stay on track with your eating habits. So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and enjoy the holidays! And remember a treat here and there is perfectly okay