During the holiday season, many people pile on a few more pounds than they will successfully shed come the new year. After a few years, this time of year alone may easily have contributed to a significantly increased waistline. Here are three simple tips that can help you stay healthier during the holidays, and when followed, will hopefully enable you to enjoy this time of year without over-indulging and feeling regretful afterwards. After all, the extra festivities should be as much about spending time with friends and family as they are about enjoying a feast of foods!
Tip #1. Never Skip Breakfast
This is an important one and is a rule that should really be adhered to every single day — not just during the holidays. People often skip breakfast because they over-ate the night before, are in a hurry in the morning, or they simply feel that it’s an easy meal to skip because they are trying to reduce their caloric intake in general. This is a big mistake. People who skip breakfast are far more prone to cave to cravings in the day, because they didn’t get off to a good start. These same people are also more likely to over-eat at night.
Take care to always eat a hearty breakfast, and preferably one that contains protein (such as eggs, or a homemade raw granola that contains nuts and seeds) to get your day off to a balanced start.
Tip #2. Don’t Go To A Holiday Event Hungry
Oftentimes people will starve themselves during the day or late afternoon, because they know they are going to an event later that evening where there will be plenty of food — or a large meal. While this may seem like a good idea, they are far more likely to over-eat at the event, and to do so on food choices that are not in line with their health goals. Instead of eating just one or two slices of cheese with a glass of wine, they may instead may binge of a whole plateful – with crackers – that they might otherwise have avoided.
Make a point of having a small snack before you leave, such as a handful of pine nuts or almonds, or some avocado. Preferably a food that has some fiber and essential fatty acids, so that you trigger the satiety center in your brain much more quickly once you start eating at the event.
Tip #3. Be Mindful Of The ‘Bookends’ Of The Meal
Make a point to shave corners from the ancillary foods at an event, such as the hor d’oeuvres or deserts. Choose to indulge in the cheese-plate before a large meal, but forgo the sweet options at the end. Or perhaps you cannot stand to miss out on a slice of delicious chocolate cake after dinner, in which case you decide to pass on the bread that’s served with the meal. If you are looking forward to enjoying some wine or some special holiday cocktails, alternate these with water so that you consume less and are also less likely to over-eat because of the alcohol. Make a decision on what you will avoid once you know what is being served, and then enjoy what you have chosen to indulge on – confident that you are being mindful and moderate.
I hope these tips will help you feel more in control in making food choices that are in line with your health goals, while still being able to enjoy the festivities during this time of year. If you have any tips of your own that you would like to share, please do so in the comment section below. Above all, here’s wishing you a great holiday season!