The holidays are quickly approaching and I know that some of you are already dreading the bloating, indigestion, weight gain and sluggishness that goes along with all of the celebrating. Most people believe it’s impossible to eat healthy over the holidays because they don’t want to give up their favourite foods. I want to help you enjoy yourself, but still maintain a feeling of good health and vibrancy throughout the season. Let’s be honest: while we may enjoy the rich foods and a few more drinks than usual, we do not enjoy feeling run down.
Here are 5 simple tips to eat well and still enjoy every joyful minute!
If the gathering is potluck, bring a dish that you enjoy and feel good about eating. You can even learn how to make a healthier version of something that is typically unhealthy. The internet is full of delicious and healthy appetizers, meals and side dishes. Just go exploring.
Eat the foods you want, but in moderation. If there are bacon-wrapped scallops on the table and they are calling your name, have one. Yes, that’s right, you can eat it! But choose to eat slowly and really savour it. Otherwise you may end up overindulging in other snacks while trying to avoid what you really want.
Eat a healthy snack at home before going out. Choose one that is nutritious and high in protein such as tuna salad on flax crackers or a bowl of hearty bean soup. Being satisfied will help you control your cravings.
Focus on the people rather than the food. Position yourself in conversations away from the food and keep your back turned to it. If you aren’t looking at it, you will have an easier time avoiding mindless hand to mouth.
Drink alcohol in moderation and eat something before you drink to prevent a drop in your blood sugar. Also, drink 1 full glass of water to every alcoholic drink you have to help prevent dehydration.
Time with friends and loved ones is meant to be enjoyed, and it is natural for us to give food a starring role in that enjoyment. Paying extra attention to be sure you are choosing wholesome, balanced meals on the days when you aren’t at a social gathering keeps your body nourished and this can go a long way toward managing cravings.
When you are at a party, enjoy the food, but remember to keep your portion sizes small and avoid eating only foods with poor nutrition. If you do overindulge, get back on track the next morning with a nutritious breakfast and make sure to keep up with your regular exercise program.
Have a Happy and Healthy Holiday Season!