We are days away from Halloween, which I think of as the gateway to the holiday season. Many parties, get-togethers, work events, and other festivities will fill our time. It is during this time we are often bombarded with articles and news stories related to “avoiding the holiday weight gain” or “healthy versions of traditional dishes.” While these can provide us with good ideas and healthful recipes, they often aim to make us feel guilty for actually enjoying some holiday cheer. I think we can be healthy, enjoy the holidays and all their traditions, and not feel guilty about it!
Here are some quick tips for enjoying your holidays, food and all!
- Eat a healthy breakfast everyday. Start your day with fruits, veggies, protein, and fat. These foods will give you the energy to stay focused during this busy time of year.
- Meal plan! If you have been following my posts for any amount of time, you know I am a huge advocate of planning your meals in advance. This takes the stress out of weeknights while saving you time and money.
- Drink water and lots of it. Period.
- Move your body everyday. Whether you hit the gym, walk the dog, wash the windows, or have a dance party- don’t stay still for too long.
- Stock your fridge with easy to grab snacks. Cut up veggies, fruit, and yogurt are great options.
- Try to meet your daily fiber needs. Eating lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts can get you there easily. Fiber will keep your GI tract (where a lot of our immune system lies) healthy and will also keep you feeling full longer. There are many other fiber benefits you read about here
- Enjoy your desserts and other treats. Don’t think of these foods as “off limits.” Often we label foods as good and bad, which can lead to a restriction-binge type of cycle. Just enjoy your dessert and don’t feel guilty.
- Listen to your body. You will thank me for this one. If you feel full, stop eating. Why be in pain? Enjoy your foods, but just be cognizant of when you are satiated. If we slow down our eating, we are often more aware of the signals our body sends.
- When at parties, scope out the food choices before you fill your plate. Figure out what you really want and be sure to eat those choices first. If you are still hungry, go back for your second choices later. This way you will eat those foods you love and not feel the need to finish the second choice foods from your plate.
- Consume alcohol during meals. Also having a glass of water after each alcoholic drink works well. These both slow the alcohol from hitting the bloodstream, keeping you sober longer! And always- don’t drink and drive!
Go ahead, eat grandma’s stuffing and have a glass of eggnog! Enjoy the traditions the holidays bring us.