I wanted to end this year with a refresher on healthy holiday eating tips. No matter what this past month entailed, it is never too late to get a grip and feed your body better.
1. Make A Plan:
Here are ideas to arm yourself with.
-Eat close to your usual times to keep your blood sugar steady. If your meal is served later than normal, eat a small snack at your usual mealtime and eat a little less when dinner is served.
-If you are invited to a party, offer to bring a healthy dish along. This gives you something you can control.
-If you have a dessert, cut back on portion sizes of other foods and sauces during the meal. Make choices.
-Don’t skip meals to save up for a feast. It will be harder to manage your blood sugar, and you’ll be really hungry and more likely to overeat.
-If you slip up, get right back to healthy eating with your next meal.
Here are some short cuts or so-called hacks-
-Have pumpkin pie instead of pecan pie. Even with a dollop of lite whipped cream. With that substitution you’ll cut calories and sugar by at least a third.
-Break physical activity up into smaller chunks so it’s easier to schedule, like walking 10 minutes several times a day. Your MOVE goal is not on break!
-Schedule some “me” time every day—a nap, dog walk, quiet time to get your energy back for the next celebration.
2. Bust the Buffet:
When you face a spread of delicious holiday food, make healthy choices this way-
- To help yourself manage your food portions better, use a smaller serving plate. If not, be more conscious by taking smaller portions of food from the spread. Have a small plate of the foods you like best and then move away from the buffet table. Research shows that larger plates, bowls and cutleries, often trick us into consuming more food than we usually would.
-Start with vegetables to take the edge off your appetite. Use dips in small portions. You can get many added calories here.
-Eat slowly. It takes at least 20 minutes for your brain to realize you’re full. Listen to your body when full. Talk more- eat less!
-Avoid or limit alcohol. If you do have an alcoholic drink, have it with food. Alcohol can lower blood sugar and is full of calories of no nutritional value. Remember moderation here.
- Remember how we always say, out of sight, out of mind? Same goes with food! The more we see food, the more we would want to eat it. Particularly at potlucks/buffets. The unending food encourages us to eat more than what we should. A good plan is to stay away from the food table and keep the snacks far from your reach. With this plan, we are less likely to snack on food even after we are full. This saves us from overeating or eaters remorse.
- Start your meal right. Choose the right food choices to start. This sets you up for success. The best pick to start would be healthier foods such as a bowl of salad (watch the dressing amount), a piece of fruit or raw vegetables. As you know, fresh fruits and vegetables are fiber rich, it would bring you satiety. When you feel slightly full, the likelihood of overeating should decrease significantly. The key here is be aware, plan and then execute.
- No food is on the naughty list. If you choose the dish you really love and maybe eat once a year, slow down and savor a small serving. If you eat it make sure to count it in your meal plan. If you plan for it, no food needs to be on the naughty list. But, this does not give you a free pass for the “WHATEVER” attitude.
-MOVE- When you have a lot on your plate this time of year, and physical activity can get excused away. But being active is your secret holiday weapon; it can help make up for eating more than usual and reduce stress during this most stressful time of year. Get moving with friends and family, such as taking a walk after a holiday meal. MOVE- move!
-And last but not least, Get your sleep! Going out more and staying out later often means cutting back on sleep. Sleep loss or when you’re sleep deprived, you tend to eat more. Most people then eat high-fat, high-sugar foods. Aim for 7 to 8 hours per night to guard against mindless eating.