I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but food is fuel, and even if you allow yourself to indulge during this time of year, the fundamentals are really important.
You can control when you eat, so avoid any food at least 3 hours before going to bed
Don’t skip meals (eat 5-6 small meals each day)
Chew your food really well
Fill your plate one time and make sure it is colorful
Consume at least 5-6 servings of fruits and vegetables each day
Say “NO” to gravy
Another really great strategy that I have seen help people is to stock your freezer with healthy meals. Everyone is busy during this time of year with shopping, decorating, traveling, etc., and we typically grab something on the go which is almost never healthy. But if you plan ahead and either prepare foods that are in your refrigerator OR have a variety of options that have been frozen, it makes it much easier to ensure you are giving your body what it truly needs.
If you are going to attend a holiday party with a dinner buffet of goodies, it is important to proclaim the experience even takes place…”I, *state your name*, will not be defeated by the buffet.”
This is such an important tip because over consumption takes place when there are too many options, and you want to try everything. The easiest way to avoid the buffet blues is to take a smaller plate than everyone else. This way you can still attempt to try everything, but the real estate for calories will be much smaller so the portion will be controlled.
If there happens not to be a smaller plate, then just ASK! We mean it… everyone has smaller plates, and you can tell them the truth - ”I, *state your name*, will not be defeated by the buffet.” If you don’t want to ask, just make sure you fill your plate with at least half vegetables, leaving a smaller amount of room for other more indulgent foods.
Please, please, please do not starve yourself in anticipation of a “monster” meal! Many people often avoid breakfast and lunch during the holiday season because they know that they will make up for it at dinner and then what happens is dreaded over consumption by means of starvation!!!
Prior to leaving your home (or having people come over), force yourself to consume at least two nutritious meals and one snack so that your stomach will be at least 50% full during the main event.
If you are going to an event and bringing something, I always recommend contributing a food choice that is healthy and enjoyable for YOU! This will guarantee that at least one item at the party will meet your needs and keep you on track.
I also want you to realize that holidays will probably lead to somewhat out-of-control behavior. Maybe you will splurge slightly, get out of your routine for a bit, and even eat some foods that you know are wrong, but the key is to avoid becoming victimized by your temptations. This means DO NOT, and we repeat, DO NOT, have any tempting food items in your home. Be extra clean and strict outside of the holiday parties because this will help neutralize some behaviors that you might not be so proud of.
Another strategy has to do with our holiday beverages!! This is an obvious strategy, but one that we must include because far too many people fall victim to liquid calories.
Whether this is eggnog, wine, beer, hard alcohol, or sugary drinks, you should limit or completely avoid liquid calories during the holiday season. The strategy is to stick with WATER and add some fruit to the water if you want to enhance the flavor. (Cranberries and a pinch of cinnamon make deliciously festive water!)
If you ever need any additional guidance or support, please don’t hesitate to reach out!