Christmas offers us tons of opportunity to stuff our faces with high-calorie foods! I think the whole point of New Year’s resolutions is to come up with healthy commitments to fix the over-eating we have done over the holidays!
Christmas should be a time of family and enjoyment. It’s a little awkward bringing a food scale to Christmas dinner, and really, what’s the point? But what if there was a way to enjoy Christmas guilt-free, without packing on the pounds?
It’s difficult to get through the holidays without a little excessive-consumption, but here are some tricks I use to limit the damage and help get things back on track for New Year’s.
Eat your soup or greens first
Most meals start with bread – and that gets us behind before we even begin. If like most people, you feel hungry at the start of a big meal, the worst thing to do is to start piling on refined carbohydrates. They keep you hungry even though they are full of calories.
Have one or two glasses of water
Often, what feels like hunger is dehydration. Filling up with water, then moving on to eating some lean protein is a super-effective way to load yourself up on healthier items before indulging in the sugar-coated or sugar-infused decadence. If water seems a little bland, try adding some lemon!
Prepare healthy meals in advance
As we pop from party to party, there aren’t likely to be a lot of carrots and celery on offer. In fact, we can expect our hosts to put the sugary stuff out and offer up more and more because they don’t want to be stuck eating it themselves!
If it’s a potluck you are attending, try brining the healthy dish with you. Then no matter what else is served, you know there will be something you enjoy eating that’s ready to go.
Bonus Tip! – If you have some grab and go bags ready, it can help avoid the temptation to indulge. I like to fill mine with some plain nuts, raisins or with some fresh vegetables.
Track what you consume
One of the best apps I know to keep track of what we eat is My Fitness Pal. Just knowing you have to log what you consume will make you think twice about shoving the third cream puff in your mouth.
Chose better rewards
If you have a good fitness day, don’t reward yourself with bad food. At least not all the time. Save up for a big reward and have a good cheat day once or twice a month, not little “treats” every single day. And another thing, we should learn to treat ourselves with something other than food!
Don’t rely on will power
Eventually, if you are exposed to enough temptation, you will cave. If you are tired, overworked, surrounded by other people indulging, you are going to just dive right in. And let’s face it, around the holidays, we are all tired and surrounded by numerous opportunities to cheat.
Set yourself up for success. Surround yourself with the best chances of staying healthy. It might mean moving to another room when the desert tray gets brought out, or bringing your own snacks to work or to a party.
Remember, you are not in this alone and there are probably other people in your family or at your office who are fighting the same battle. Maybe you can help keep each other accountable?
In the end, you need to enjoy the holidays. If you take anything from this blog, don’t rely solely on will power. Use some of these tips to help surround yourself with the best chances for success!
Do you have any tips for healthy holiday eating that you’d like to share? Post a comment below if there is something you would like to add to the conversation.