Do you love Thanksgiving as much as me? Debatable. But if you love it anywhere near as much as I do, you might be tempted to truly stuff yourself like a turkey. And while there’s nothing wrong with that one day out of the year, the holidays have a sneaky way of making us do that over and over. Before we know it, we have packed on pounds and feel like crap. The good news is you can absolutely enjoy the holidays to the fullest while also staying healthy, and you can certainly avoid packing on the pounds. You just need a little strategy, and that’s what I am here for. So if you want to stay healthy through the holidays, read on.
Know Your Boundaries
It’s important to know what you want out of the holiday season. If you are the kind of person that wants to enjoy every single treat, then your tricks might be a little different than someone who only wants to enjoy their traditional favorites. Know what you want for yourself and your health, and make a plan to help you stick to it. Deciding what you want will give you greater ability to stick to a plan and stay healthy through the holidays. And speaking of plans…
This is one of the best things you can do in order to stay on top of your health. Planning ahead requires more work, but it’s completely worth it. This could mean a lot of different things. If you are hosting a holiday meal, plan your dishes to still be delicious classics, but a healthier version. There are so many clean eating options out there that are entirely delicious. You do not have to miss out on flavor in the name of eating healthy! If you will be a guest at someone else’s dinner, ask if you can bring a dish to share. Make something healthy so that you know you will have options. If you know you have an aunt that’s notorious for pushing one more glass of wine on you or insisting that you have one more piece of pie, think about what you will say and how you will respond. Come up with your “excuses” in advance so you are not caught off guard!
And by that I mean drink lots of water. It’s simply a fact that if you drink a huge glass of water before you sit down to eat, you will eat less! It’s pretty hard to be tempted by more and more treats when your belly is totally full. This is one of those tricks that is more for the people who only want to enjoy their traditional favorites and nothing more. If you are the type of person who likes to eat it all, you may find yourself frustrated if you drink a liter of water right before a big meal or party!
When you make your way through all the dishes, serve yourself only what you need. If you know that you want to try every single dish on the table, just take a small spoonful of each thing. If you know you want your top three favorites and nothing more, serve yourself accordingly! And (this one is for my husband) remember that dessert is coming. Don’t get so many seconds that you feel sick when dessert comes around, because most people will still eat the dessert and then feel terrible! Save room for dessert so that you can eat it and fully enjoy it. And speaking of dessert, the same rules apply! If you want to try a little of everything, just make sure it’s actually “a little.” If you only want your favorite pie, then by all means, eat the regular sized slice! Monitoring your dessert intake is definitely one of the most simple ways to stay healthy through the holidays.
This one might be my favorite trick! Staying active is the one way to stay healthy through the holidays that also allows for experiences and adventures! So often during the holidays, people eat tons and tons of food, and then go sit on a couch somewhere and watch tv! Why not engage with one another on a family walk instead? It’s so easy to plan an activity that keeps you on your feet! Go for a stroll through your neighborhood to check out Christmas lights or go on a fun hike! Not only will you feel much better… you will also make memories that you will treasure forever.
Most importantly, remember that balance is key. Don’t beat yourself up if you eat one too many slices of pecan pie (that’s my weakness). Just get out and stay active while having fun, and try to not worry about it! Our bodies are amazing at compensating and balancing things out, as long as we are healthy overall! Make healthy choices this holiday season, and it will all work out!