It’s about that time of year where we break out the stretchy pants and tend to overeat ourselves into food comas. It may be wonderfully delicious at the time, and you’ll be tempted to do it, but then you’ll remember how you feel after – regret. We work so hard all year long to eat healthy and exercise regularly, and then around holiday time so many of us end up eating too much food, it really is hard to resist. Well, this year, we’re going to do just that – we’re going to say no to that extra helping of stuffing. Here’s 5 tips that will help you stay on track when it comes to eating right this holiday season.
1 – Don’t go shopping while you’re hungry.
We’ve all probably heard this one a million times, and that’s why it’s number one on the list – it works. Make sure you’ve eaten a good breakfast or lunch before going on your holiday grocery shopping spree – and when you go to the mall to shop for gifts. Making that extra sweet potato pie when you’re hungry sounds so good, and a quick stop in the food court doesn’t seem so bad when you’re as hungry as you are. Don’t get overwhelmed with all of the things you need to do and plan to eat when you’re out – have a good meal at home before you start your shopping.
2 – Snacking is OK, as long as they’re healthy snacks.
There’s plenty of leftover Halloween candy right about now, let someone else have it. And how many cupcakes and sweet treats are brought into the office around the holidays? Avoid the breakroom deserts and stick to the healthy snacks you have at your desk. Granola bars, mixed nuts, or some pretzels are all good options.
3 – Don’t break your workout routine!
You’re going to have some time off work. You’re going to be able to sleep in. You’re going to have fewer responsibilities. These are the best things about the holidays! But don’t let it make you lazy. Sure, take that extra hour of sleep Thanksgiving Day, but you still need to get in your workout. Don’t skip it and tell yourself you’ll just work that much harder tomorrow. That’s a quick way to start a bad habit.
4 – On the day of the big meal, don’t skip other meals.
This is something everyone is guilty of at some point in their lives. You skip breakfast because you’re inevitably going to eat a ton of that delicious turkey and stuffing, so you don’t want to load up on your calories beforehand. Research actually shows that people who eat breakfast will consume fewer calories throughout the day! So have breakfast – the most important meal of the day – and have it consist of fruits and vegetables that are lower in calories yet satiate your hunger.
5 – Probably the most important holiday eating tip is to have portion control.
It seems obvious, yet so many of us don’t do it. Even with the healthier foods. Because it’s healthy its ok to eat a lot of it isn’t necessarily true all of the time. But if you want to stay out of that food coma after the big dinner, you’re going to have to limit how much you eat, which is understandably difficult with how easy it is to pile on helping after helping. A really good strategy for this is to use a smaller plate. Also try to eat slowly and enjoy every bite, and when it comes time for seconds just wait a few minutes first to see if you’re actually still hungry.
As a bonus tip, try to get up and moving around after dinner. It will help with the digestion of the food and you won’t be laying on the couch watching TV regretting your decision to eat your third helping of stuffing.