Just because the holidays are here doesn't mean we have to forgo our healthy eating goals. It is possible to enjoy the holiday and stay on track. We've all heard the advice to not show up to the party hungry, bring a healthy dish with, and to drink water. Here are five NEW healthy holiday tips:
Fill Your Plate with Fiber - Fiber from fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts/seeds help us to feel full. Plus, because they are natural, whole foods they are filled with nutrition. Easy ways to boost the fiber at your holiday meals include adding whole veggies to soup, nuts to a salad, topping lean protein with a fruit chutney instead of gravy, and having whole grain crackers or veggie sticks with fiber-rich hummus for a snack.
Manage Stress WITHOUT Food - The holidays can be stressful and there has been some research that the stress of the holidays can be more dangerous for our waistline than the temptations of holiday treats. The stress of all the running leads to skimping on exercise and meal prep. Or it can lead to us feeling overwhelmed and seeking comfort. When people are in more of a relaxed state of mind they are less likely to reach for comfort food. Take time for yourself, schedule a massage, sign up for a yoga class, or sip your favorite herbal tea while watching a holiday classic.
Scope Out the Buffet - Walking up and down the entire buffet line before you fill up your plate is a great way to avoid overloading your plate. When you enter the buffet line blindly you may place items on your plate without realizing there are things you like better at the end of the line. This leads to a plate filled to the max, which let’s face it, will most likely end up getting eaten. Enter the buffet line with a plan of what you really want focusing on as many whole foods as you can and small portions of those holidays favorites.
Don’t Visit in the Kitchen - The holidays are all about visiting with family and friends. That visiting doesn’t have to be while you mindlessly eat snacks. It is very common during holiday parties for people to sit around a table and visit with a bowl of chips, appetizers, or even sweet treats laid before them. Take your visiting into another room where you can focus on the company rather than reaching for another snack that you aren’t even hungry for.
Keep Up with Activity - Between busy schedules and colder weather, motivation and time for physical activity can waiver. Maintaining a regular exercise schedule can help with your holiday stress, keep your healthy holiday goals in the forefront of your mind, and help balance the calories you are consuming. Remember to make it enjoyable!
This holiday season focus on the things you can add in to your lifestyle to make it healthier rather than focus on what you need to avoid. Let the season be guilt-free but filled with fun activity, stress-relieving “me-time,” and all the natural, healthy foods you love!
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