Tonight we were out with friends who commented that from there on out to the end of 2016, their evening and weekends are packed with holiday parties and we could relate. Maybe you can too?
Whether is it work parties, family gatherings, or times with friends, it can be a very busy time of year with LOTS of time for food and very little time for activity! When the holidays hit and the gatherings begin, it can be tempting to let your guard down on health! My challenge to you this holiday season is to enjoy your holidays without destroying your health! Here are a few basic tips to help you over the coming weeks.
Stay Nourished: Always eat breakfast! This doesn’t mean that you can’t sleep in if you have time off work over the holidays…just try to eat within 1 hour of waking up. Then eat small meals and snacks all day long so that you are never tempted to overeat.
Stay Active: It is easy to become lazy over the holidays. If you have family or friends to catch up with, try going for a walk with them instead of going out for a meal.
Prepare for Parties: Try to have a light snack or meal before heading to a party so that you will not overeat when you arrive. A salad of bowl of vegetable soup is perfect before heading out. Party snacks are often high in calories so filling up on vegetables at home is ideal.
Once at the party, try to scope out any veggies or fruit options and keep them in your snack mix at the party. Another tip is to fill a small plate with food and space that food out over the course of the party. This way, you won’t leave wondering how much you ate.
Festive Feasts: To survive multiple turkey dinners, try these tips:
- Don’t fill up on nuts, meatballs, and cheese before the meal.
- Fill ½ your plate with salad and veggies before taking anything else.
- Choose between the turkey stuffing and a roll as they are both bread-based items.
- Try to take a break between your main meal and dessert.
- Most importantly remember: YOU WILL EAT AGAIN!! Therefore, you do not need to be stuffed at the end of the meal!
Eat Smart when you Eat Out: If you are meeting friends for meals out try the following for “healthy choices”.
- Poached eggs and toast with a side of fruit;
- Whole grain pancakes with peanut butter instead of syrup; or
- Oatmeal with berries and a side of yogurt.
- Wrap with grilled chicken, veggies, and a dressing on the side;
- Spinach salad with salmon;
- Split a thin crust pizza and salad with a friend; or
- Split chicken fajitas.
Be Decisive with Drinks: There can be a lot of hidden calories in drinks which often contribute to excess weight gain over the holidays.
- Drink water or milk with your meals rather than juice or soda.
- Drink responsibly. Limit alcohol intake as it is high in calories.
- If you enjoy egg nog, try it with ½ milk and ½ egg nog to decrease your total caloric intake.
I hope this gives you a few easy tips to head into 2017 feeling like you don’t really need a resolution to be healthier because you are already making great choices!
Until next time…stay healthy!