21 Tips for Eating Healthy & Surviving Holiday Season
As holiday seasons approaches, in addition to starting to feel festive and getting ready for parties, shopping and other holiday events, it’s also the time of year when we start thinking about how to manage all the sweets and treats and rich meals that we will be tempted by.
It’s time to plan your strategy – you can enjoy the holidays and minimize weight gain.
Here is a collection of our favorite holiday survival tips:
1. Always bring your own food – and be prepared to share! When you contribute a healthy dish you know there is at least one thing you can eat and others may well enjoy the healthier option.
2. Eat the healthy offerings first. Is soup an option? If it’s broth-based, not cream-based―you can fill up on soup and eat a little less of the richer main course options.
3. Stand more than an arm’s length away from munchies while you chat. It’s too easily to mindlessly munch away while chatting.
4. Focus on your meal while you’re eating it. Focus on chewing your food well and enjoying the smell, taste, and texture. Make those calories worth it.
5. While doing holiday shopping – make sure you eat first to avoid the tempting smells and sights. Also consider planning your mall route to avoid your trigger temptations – like Cinnabon or Rocky Mountain Chocolate or Purdys etc.
6. Keep track of what you eat – it’s easy to consume way more than you realize. Don’t accidentally consume more calories than you meant to. A good app to help you track your daily calorie intake is MyFitnesssPal.
7. Pre-eat before a party! Have some healthy snacks to curb your appetite.
8. Choose your indulgences wisely. Instead of wasting calories on foods that you can have at any time of the year, pick items that are unique to the season.
9. Don’t skip breakfast – it catches up with you and you end up eating more later in the day.
10. Don’t fill your plate – research shows that we tend to eat more when presented with all kinds of options – we don’t stop when we are full.
11. Pop a sugar-free mint in your mouth after you eat. It will discourage further grazing on foods that are laid out.
12. Eat with a small group when possible. One study found that dining with 6+ people can cause you to eat 76% more because the meal lasts longer.
13. Sit next to a fellow healthy eater or someone that eats slowly.
14. Wait for all the food to be on the table before making your selections.
15. Don’t get so busy that you neglect your exercise. Break it up into smaller chunks if you have to.
16. Don’t starve yourself during the day – keep your blood sugar levels and appetite stable throughout the day you will make better choices.
17. Be honest in your assessment of foods. Over the holidays, not all veggies are prepared to be low calorie—especially fried veggies such as potatoes!
18. Drink water! Being hydrated curbs sugar cravings.
19. Use dark chocolate when you need a treat– 70%+ cacao is better for you and gives you that chocolate taste.
20. Think before you drink! Alcohol can lessen inhibitions and lead to poor eating choices. Many drinks are also heavy in carbs, sugar and calories.
21. Focus on friends, family, music and all the festivities – try not to let food be your major focus.
When the holidays are over, if you find you are not where you want to be – look into how SpaMedica can help you.