The holiday season is here and, for many of us who are tying to eat healthy, any holiday can be pretty scary. Chocolates on Valentine’s, 4th of July BBQs, Halloween candy, Thanksgiving feasts, & Christmas cookies. When you add Birthdays, Anniversaries, family vacations, etc…your healthy diet goals are challenged at least once a month. It really is possible to enjoy the holidays, not feel super restricted, but still stick with your healthy goals. Therefore, below are some tips for staying healthy during, but still enjoying, any holiday or special occasion.
- Pick Your Poison: Choose ahead of time which special treat is your very favorite and then indulge in that. Whether, it is chocolate covered pretzels on Valentine’s, a snickers at Halloween, or a pecan pie on Thanksgiving. Choose your favorites and by “saving yourself” for those special treats make it easier to say no to all the other junk that comes flying your way. Why waste calories on candy hearts or pumpkin pie when something you enjoy so much more is waiting for you?
Plan Ahead: Think through all of your food plans ahead of time. Will bringing a veggie or fruit tray, or some fruit flavored water with you to a party help you avoid munching on junk? Have you checked out the online menu for the restaurant you are heading out to so you can make a smart decision before you are hungry and staring at a menu? Maybe even try picturing yourself avoiding junk and making healthier choices. Planning ahead can help you stay on track.
3. Don’t Skip Meals: Skipping breakfast or lunch before a holiday meal or party may sound like a good idea, but going hungry will just mean you’ll make up for all those missed calories and then some. Instead, choose foods that are low in calories, but high in protein and fiber that will leave you satisfied and able to make better choices.
4. Step Up Your Workout: Add a little extra time or effort to your workout a few days before and a few days after a holiday. The extra calorie burn means you can indulge on the day of without regret.
5. Keep Junk Out of Sight: It’s a cliché saying, but “out of sight, out of mind” really works when it comes to avoiding junk food. If you decorate for the holiday with a bowl of treats, more than likely, you will eat them. So, get rid of that decorative jar of candy hearts or m&ms on your counter or desk and replace it with some non-food decor. Remember, you are “saving yourself” for that favorite treat. 🙂
6. Substitute Healthy Foods: Look for ways in planning and preparing your holiday meals that you can substitute healthier options. Replace high calorie drinks with flavored water, chose baked instead of fried options, and add veggies, fruits and whole grains whenever you can. Again, making these substitutions means you can indulge where it really counts.
7. Celebrate Without Food: So much of the celebrating in our country revolves around food. Look for traditions you can start celebrating in your family without food. Choose to give a love letter or flowers instead of chocolates or do a special activity instead of a huge meal.
8. Don’t Overstress It: Nobody is perfect, so please don’t let mistakes ruin all your hard work. Even if you slip-up and eat all the junk in sight on Thanksgiving Day, don’t let it derail you completely. Don’t waste time beating yourself up, just get right back on track. Celebrate the good choices you are making today and don’t worry about the ones you didn’t make yesterday.
Tip of the day
Home-baked Fries Cut Back on Fat! Love fries? Try making your own baked fries or potato wedges with just a drizzle of oil for fewer calories.
Daily Inspiration X 2
Blessed is the man whom you discipline, O Lord, and whom you teach out of your law, . . .for justice will return to the righteous, and all the upright in heart will follow it.
~ Psalm 94:12, 15
Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson