For most people, it isn’t the working out part that gets them. It’s trying to stay on track with an eating plan, especially during the holiday season. Because, let’s be honest, no matter how badly you want to drop those pounds, you can’t reason with temptation clouding your brain.
If you need help attending some chocolate-charged holiday parties without face planting in the very first pies, these healthy holiday eating tips are for you.
1. Eat before you go.
The same way you’d never go to the grocery store hungry is the same way you shouldn’t show up to holiday parties on an empty stomach. You’re just asking for trouble. Because when the hunger pains strike, you won’t be eyeballing your grandma’s tray of healthy veggies. You will be headed straight for the sinful calories- and the naughty list!
Curb your hunger by eating something small yet filling before you leave the house like an apple, hard-boiled egg or leafy green salad. Also, don’t forget to drink plenty of water. Sometimes your brain tricks you into thinking you want to eat when you’re actually only thirsty.
2. Bring your own food.
Not sure what’s going to be on the menu? Ask the host if you can bring something to contribute. That way you will know for sure there is at least one dish you can enjoy guilt-free. You will be happy, and the host will have one less item to stress over. It’s a win/win.
This is also great for anyone with diet restrictions or food allergies as well. If you are ever unsure about the ingredients, bring something to share. It’s better safe than sorry.
3. Concentrate on your meal.
Research shows people who eat in front of the television, or absentmindedly, tend to eat quicker and bigger portions than normal. So, take it slow and really indulge your senses: Look at your plate and admire the colors before you. Eat slowly and anticipate every bite working its way to your lips. Focus on the way the ingredients smell and taste. Notice the different textures as you chew.
Not only will you be able to better register when you are full and consume less calories, but you will also appreciate your meal more.
4. Grab a friend.
Have you done steps 1-3 but still aren’t sure if you can be trusted? When you’re feeling weak at the knees, it pays to buddy up with someone. Sitting next to another healthy eater holds you accountable and ensures you’re less likely to stray.
5. Use smaller plates.
The bigger the plate, the more likely you are to pile it on. Instead, opt for eating dinner on a smaller one, like a dessert plate. It will ensure your body has more time to recognize when it’s full. Plus, if you pile on the protein and vegetables first you will have less room for the unhealthy stuff.
6. Pick One.
Don’t put too much pressure on yourself or it will give the bad items more appeal. Allow yourself to choose one goodie to eat, and you are less likely to overdo it -or worse- completely sabotage your hard work.
Consider your options though. For instance, don’t waste empty calories on potato chips when they’re available all year long. Pick a treat unique to the season, like your mom’s famous homemade cherry cheesecakes. Now that’s something worth celebrating. And again, don’t scarf it down. Eat slowly and take the time to enjoy it.
If you follow these tips and still find yourself feeling weighed down the next day, shake it off with a little physical activity.
An early morning workout is known to rev-up your metabolism and help you burn off a few extra calories throughout the day. Go for a walk, or drop inside a nearby yoga class. Your body will feel rejuvenated and so will your mind.
Have you started planning your health goals for the new year? We’d love to hear them. Drop us a line in our comments. For more industry related tips, be sure to visit our blog often.