Here’s to a healthy holiday season.
‘Tis the season…of parties, booze, and all the sweets! All this holiday cheer and festivities can quickly derail the health goals you worked on all year. Here are 6 tips for a healthier holiday season that will keep you feeling lean, focused, and still on track.
Eat regularly. Skipping meals is the fastest way to guarantee you will overeat at your holiday party. By not fueling yourself properly throughout the day you are setting yourself up for a binge on sweets around the office or fried appetizers at the event. Stick to eating every 3-4 hours during the day, focusing on vegetables and lean protein (like eggs, Greek yogurt, chicken, or fish). If you know it is going to be a busy day, set an alarm on our phone to remind yourself it is time for lunch, and always keep a stash of single serving snacks at your desk or in your bag.
Load up on veggies. The high fiber content in vegetables will fill you up and keep you full, leaving less room for the pigs in a blanket being passed around your holiday parties. First, scope out all the food at the party before you eat anything, and if the vegetable options are slim, look to fill up on the crudités platter. Then reach for the leanest protein options (like the shrimp cocktail or a slider without the bun).
Selectively indulge. Make sure you choose one delicious option to indulge on and then, savor each and every bite. Mindless sampling of all the holiday cookies and candy will not satisfy you. Whether your treat is pumpkin pie, pecan pie, or a brownie, choose one, be mindful of the portion size, and I promise it will be satisfying than mindlessly sampling all of the other sweets.
Booze wisely. The alcohol is flowing fast and furious this time of year, so you need to be selective of the nights you will drink and the nights you will keep “dry”. Maybe you skip the booze on weeknights, or maybe you only drink the 3 nights this week when you have events. When you are drinking, make sure you’re having water or club soda between your cocktails. Aim for a 1:1 ratio of cocktail to water, this will help you stay hydrated, focused on your food choices, and work to combat any next day hangovers.
Don’t ditch the gym. Don’t let your gym time get lost in the hectic holiday shuffle. If you need some extra help getting there ask a friend to meet you for a class. The feel good hormones (i.e. endorphins) will help fight the stress that usually creeps up this time of year, while helping you to stay focused on making good choices throughout the day. Win-win!
Get your sleep. Getting enough sleep helps to fight off stress and curb food cravings, both of which lead to overeating and weight gain. Make sleep a priority by keeping a strict time to turn in and avoid your phone screen for at least 30 minutes leading up to that.