The holiday season in full swing and it is a time to celebrate by being with family and friends. However during this time of year, it is easy to give in to temptation and overindulge, discarding all your healthy eating habits. How many times have you said to yourself, “I have too many parties this week, I’ll start my diet next week.” Before you know it, next week turns into next month and you are 10 pounds heavier. Today is always the best day to start eating better. Get healthy and avoid packing on any additional pounds this holiday.
Never arrive at a party, head off to the mall or go to a work event on an empty stomach. Even a small salad or a handful of nuts can drastically lower your urges to overeat. Once you arrive at a celebration, it is important to become acquainted with the food options and develop a plan that allows you to be eat well without abandoning healthy habits. Options like turkey breast, chicken, shrimp cocktail, steamed vegetables and fresh fruit offer a lot of nutritional value and are common on many holiday menus.
If you are going to someone’s home, bring a healthy dish. This provides you with a nutrient-rich alternative and your host will appreciate your contribution.
With all the delicious meals the holiday season has to offer, you want to make sure you are actually tasting and enjoying what you are consuming. Taking smaller bites, chewing slowly and putting your fork down are excellent tricks to maintain a healthy pace while eating. Slowing down while eating allows you to be more aware of your level of fullness and therefore become more satisfied with a smaller portion and less likely to raid the cookie tray.
Reserve your calories for the main meal. If you are going to an Italian restaurant, keep the bread at the other end of the table; at a Mexican restaurant, say no to the chips and salsa. If you do indulge, do so in moderation.
Alcohol is an appetite stimulant and can weaken your ability to maintain self-control while making food selections. Furthermore, alcohol and sugary drinks, like eggnog, pack on the calories without leaving you feeling full and making you more inclined to consume excess calories.
It is possible to enjoy the celebratory experience and not feel guilty about what you ate. Make small goals that enable healthy habits. For example: between each alcoholic beverage, drink an 8 ounce glass of water or choose to not have any appetizers or desserts. Whatever your nutrition goal may be, make it achievable and applicable to the situation. Setting and achieving small goals will allow you to feel more confident in your weight loss journey and your ability to exercise self-control. In time, tackling each holiday event will become more and more manageable.
Be realistic and enjoy the season! If you overeat one meal or two, go light the next day. One over-indulgence won’t wreck disregard all your hard work. Take it one day at a time. There have probably been times when you told yourself that messing up one meal ruins the day and you might as well restart tomorrow. This logic could not be further from the truth. Yes, eating 10,000 calories in one sitting is not helpful for weight loss, however, consuming 20,000 is worse. Stop in the moment, re-evaluate and re-focus. Even leaving one bite on your plate will lead to greater success.
Tis the season and as a general rule, focus on people rather than food. Concentrate on having fun, celebrating and making new friends. It will be easier to navigate your attention away from the various treats.