With Thanksgiving behind us and Christmas around the corner, most of us during the holiday season totally disregard our healthy eating habits and portion control. We tend to utilize the holiday season as an opportunity to over-indulge and be pure gluttons. According to reports, Americans gain 7-10 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day and sadly, this extra weight gain is maintained despite our many promises to start a new health plan in January.
I understand how easy it is to get caught in this holiday trap because everywhere you turn from your workplace to the homes of your friends and family, there is an abundance of food and treats in addition to huge parties and dinners to attend. I’m not saying you can’t indulge a little but I do recommend eating in moderation and maintaining a balanced diet during the holidays. The holidays tend to be a very stressful time for all of us and we need plenty of energy to cope with the increase in activity. Therefore, it is essential that we eat the proper foods and nutrients that will give us energy and help reduce our stress levels.
Here are five easy tips to help you maintain your weight and fitness during the holidays:
1. Eat on a small plate at dinner parties.
This will help keep your calories in check, but also helps usher in the smart practice of eating less. It’s so easy to fill up your plate when it’s bigger. Avoid those big plates to keep your waistline tight.
2. Bring a healthy food dish so you can have some control over what you put in your body.
You’ve heard how cooking at home is better for us for so many reasons, right? This is the same idea. Yes, your friends and family can cook really delicious food and you can’t wait to dig in, but you don’t know how they cooked it: what kinds of fat, how much salt, how much sugar, etc…Brining your own dish gives you at least one option of something that supports your efforts.
3. Avoid drinking high sugar and high caloric beverages; instead drink water or unsweetened tea.
Why waste calories on sugary drinks?! Especially if you’re a wine drinker. No need to pack on extra calories that don’t add any value to your goals.
4. Maintain at least 30 minutes of exercise each day.
Even if it’s a brisk walk, 10 minutes jump roping and 20 minutes on the treadmill. Anything to keep your cardio up and muscles engaged will keep your metabolism active and prevent you from feeling guilty when you over-indulge a little. If you have the time, go for 45.
5. Don’t skip meals. Eat a hearty and healthy snack before you attend a party.
This will curb your appetite and make you less tempted to over-indulge.
Eat well, love unapologetically, pray with true intention, and take care of yourself.