The thought of winter holidays with all of their delicious glory sends many into cold sweats, especially after finally incorporated healthier eating habits into their lives. This feeling applies regardless of your religious beliefs or unique holiday celebrations. But, there’s no need to fret, though, eating healthy, keeping up with exercise regimens, and celebrating without fear is easier than you think!
Most times, parties and family gatherings make up a small part of our day-to-day lives. Indulging strategically here and there isn’t detrimental and should be embraced, not feared.
Here are five tips that will keep you on a healthy track without avoiding all the yummy treats and fun times.
Be kind to yourself. Remember 'tis the season for family and celebration, which sometimes involves a small bit of indulgence. It is ok! If you have been consistently eating healthier, indulge, and let loose for a night, your body will recover within about 3 days. Any residual impact will be eliminated as long as you return to your healthier path.
Stay away from the food! No, I don’t mean stop eating, rather be sure to carry on conversations away from the food. Place the food you want to eat on a plate and then immediately walk away.
Have a small salad or green smoothie before leaving for a party. This will satiate your hunger, and keep the gremlins at bay. Instead of feeling hungry and eating more than you planned of your favs, you have created a stable, confident position of being in charge of what you put into your mouth.
Enjoy a small bit of each of your favorites, and be sure to put them on a plate and eat them away from the buffet. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with taking a bite or two of all of your favorites! The problem with overindulges begins when we take a full serving (or more) of one favorite, and then feel deprived because we weren’t able to indulge in the others. Instead of feeling guilty or grumpy about it, just take a small serving (approximately one to two bites) of each of the foods you love and enjoy!
Limit alcoholic beverages to clear liquor such as silver tequila, vodka, and rum, or red wine. Red wine contains resveratrol, which helps our heart and contains less simple glucose than white wine. Clear liquors have less sugar; and, therefore, are healthier options for cocktails. While choosing an alcoholic beverage over water may not seem like the healthiest option; enjoying a cocktail here and there is not a devastating move and could actually help improve your perspective of a healthy lifestyle.
Follow these tips for a happy, healthy holiday season, so you can freely enjoy quality time with friends and family.
*Originally published in The Sigma, November/December 2019 edition