The Holidays are a great time of year to be with friends and family but it can be a challenge to our healthy eating habits. It’s frustrating to work hard all year to condition ourselves to eat sensibly only to be thrown off balance during the end-of-the-year Holidays! Well that doesn't have to be the case. This is the first post in a series that will provide some tips and tricks that we can use to stay on track.
Put down the dates that you'll be attending parties or social events on a calendar ahead of time - this will allow you to visually see when you will potentially run into nutritional challenges and thus plan accordingly. With holiday social obligations (and indulgences) laid out, everything can be kept in balance. We can now avoid packing on the pounds and while engaging in occasional splurges by cutting calories and or adding exercise elsewhere. Follow the 80% rule during this time period – if 80% of your meals are in check, it’s likely that you are positioned for maintenance during the holiday season (this is not the time to start a diet for most people).
Begin each day with a healthy breakfast thereby starting the day with nutritious food first. Resist the urge to eat the sugary sweets and holiday treats as first thing consumed in the day. This caused blood sugar levels to rise and fall leaving you with cravings for more junk food throughout the day. By starting each morning with a breakfast high in protein that contains some fats and carbohydrates, I have found that we are less likely to binge throughout the day on the items less likely to help us achieve our goals. Here are some possible breakfast options:
½ cup dry measure oatmeal
½ cup blueberries
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
4 scrambled whites
1 whole egg (may add any veggies that you want)
1 whole grain English muffin
3 scrambled egg whites
1-2 slices deli turkey
1 slice cheese or ¼ avocado.
Add tomato, onion, spinach lettuce,& mushrooms.
Enjoy a ½ cup fresh berries of choice with the sandwich.
If you stock up on holiday goodies, put them some place that you cannot see them. If you are buying food for a party or treats to give as gifts, store them away from your view. I personally like to store my treats upstairs in my husband’s man cave. They do not tempt him and I seldom enter the man cave. Out of sight, out of mind.
Next time, I’ll share my secrets on how to handle gifts, hydration, and possible hidden calories you didn’t know you were getting.