The holidays are synonymous with overeating. I know I gorge on my two favorite things – chocolate and Baileys.
Every party and every get-together seems to revolve around food.
Even though we’re in quarantine, it still won’t prevent overeating this year.
Here’s how to eat healthy during the holidays despite the season’s temptations.
It’s going to take some thinking, some planning, some preparation, but you can do it.
You can stay true to your healthy eating and weight loss goals during this season.
Tips for Eating Smart During the Holidays
Take the Time
Make time for yourself. Schedule in “me” time on your daily calendar.
Remember that despite all the glorious culinary delights you will find yourself facing from Thanksgiving until New Year’s, January still comes.
Take a moment, close your eyes and pretend it’s January. How do you feel about yourself and your weight?
Is this a repeat of years past, or will you be making an effort to take care of yourself and make healthy food choices this season?
Make sure you say no to some of those extra holiday events and get-togethers that make your life too busy and chaotic. Set some boundaries for yourself.
It’s too easy to resort to overeating and making poor food choices when you overextend yourself.
You are worth it. Remember your goals and stay true to them. Just think how proud you will be of yourself!
Try and maintain your current exercise program. Keeping active at this time of year is a great stress reducer, plus it makes you feel better!
Revel in the knowledge that you are doing something good for yourself.
Practice the “Push-Aways”
Even if you plan to do all of the above, you will still have the food to deal with.
These are special holiday foods that perhaps you only get an opportunity to eat once a year.
There’s no need to deprive yourself; however, there are a few relatively painless things you can do to maximize your healthy eating.
Before you go out to a party or big dinner, eat something – something small that takes the edge off your hunger.
It will prevent you from overeating later. Make sure whatever you eat is small enough that you can still eat and enjoy the party fare.
Think about the behaviors that help to put the brakes on your eating and enable you to enjoy your healthy food choices.
Eat slowly, put your utensils down between bites, focus on family and friends, the conversation – not the food.
For more on preventing overeating during the holidays, read 9 Tips to Enjoy Thanksgiving Without Ruining Your Diet.
You can apply the same tips to eating for the rest of the year.
Remember to Keep a Food Journal
Get a small notebook and write down everything you eat or drink.
You will be amazed at how simply having to do this makes you very aware of all you are eating.
Keeping a food journal can make you think twice before dipping into the chips and dip one more time. It’s a great accountability tool.
If you are at a buffet, take your time and think about what you really want. Do you really need to have one of everything?
Be discriminating, and choose only your favorites, leaving the rest behind. Eat slowly, savor the tastes, really enjoy the food.
Do you fully taste your food when you are wolfing it down? (Be honest with yourself here.)
One area that can be particularly troublesome is alcohol. Alcohol has a lot of calories, which can add up, the same as with any other food indulgence.
What can you do to cut down on alcohol? Offer to be the designated driver. Choose club soda with a twist or a diet soda instead of a mixed drink.
Have a glass of wine or a bottle of beer but drink it very slowly and make it last.
Though the pandemic has been really hard on everyone, don’t binge your way through the holidays.
Choose to eat healthy this holiday season. Come January, you’ll be glad you did.