Healthy Eating Tips For Holiday Success
The holiday season comes with food, lots of food. It’s easy to go one of two ways: we can be overly cautious of everything we eat and get stressed out, or over indulge, and eat anything and everything! Unfortunately it’s usually the latter. Please know that you can still enjoy your favorite holiday eats and treats without the guilt, or the weight.
Pre-Feast Fat Loss Trick
It’s tempting to think of a holiday as a “day off” from everything, including any kind of movement. But if your goal is to avoid weight gain, or even to lose a pound or two during the Holidays, then parking your rear on the couch is the worst mistake you can make.
So the plan is to use your exercise and diet — both the day before and the day of — to enter Thanksgiving dinner in a calorie deficit and with your muscle stores nearly empty.
Go for a long walk around your neighborhood or office the day before Thanksgiving and the day of your feast (40-65 minutes). This will help you start moving towards a calorie deficit.
STOP the ‘Train Wreck’ Mentality (make room for your holiday feast)
We’ve all fallen victim to this one. You figure, “Heck, I’m gonna pig out anyway. I might as well just enjoy the holiday and eat whatever I want for the next couple days…”
One meal — or even an entire evening of feasting — will NOT make you fatter. But three, two or even one day of unlimited eating can do a ton of damage.
So if you want to go all out and thoroughly enjoy your turkey dinner, here’s my advice.
Keep calories low on the day before your feast. Yeah, I know counting calories is a bummer. But in situations like this it’s a great trick. And you can use a website like fitday.com to make it easy.
On the day of your feast, keep your lunch really light. Avoid adding any fats to your lunch that day.
If you follow the plan, you’ll walk up to that Thanksgiving dinner with your gas tank on “empty”. And you’ll be able to put a heck of a lot more gas into an empty tank without having it spill over the sides — into your fat stores — than you could if your tank was already half full.
How To KILL Next-Day Cravings (avoid the WORST mistake you can make)
After a day of eating sugar-loaded foods and desserts, there’s a strong chance that you might crave them when you go back to your normal plan.
Psychology aside, there are definite physiologically addictive properties to sugar. That’s why sugar-loaded foods can be such a problem for so many people. It’s like the crack cocaine of the food world. You know how damaging they can be for both your health and your body composition, but you just can’t stop eating them.
In fact, many health researchers actually want to classify sugar as a drug. And that’s not as crazy as it sounds when you know what sugar does in your body.
So when you get that intense “day after” sugar craving — satisfy it by choosing a natural sugar source instead of a refined dessert. Have a serving or two of fresh fruit for dessert. You’ll kill that craving really fast. And you won’t fall off the wagon and binge.
Most Important: ENJOY the Holidays!
- Eat before. Eat a small meal that is heavy with veggies before attending a party. By eating a small meal before you won’t be as hungry and therefore are less likely to over indulge.
- Use appetizer plates. Using a plate helps to portion out the amount of what you are eating which helps prevent overeating.
- Do not diet. During the holiday season do not start a new diet. Dieting during the holidays makes you feel restricted and frustrated when you attend holiday meals.
- Make time to be active. The holidays are busy for everyone and it’s easy to not make time for physical activity. However one of the best ways to counter those cookies, cakes and creamy dishes is to make sure to incorporate 30 minutes of physical activity; this can be as easy as speed walking around the mall while doing your holiday shopping.
- Listen to your body. One of the biggest things that we all fall victim to during the holidays is ignoring our bodies. Eat because you are hungry not because food is near or because you really want to try everything make sure to take a minute to listen to your body-are you really hungry?
- Avoid hanging around the food. If you catch yourself socializing around the buffet table find away to bring to move the conversation into another room that doesn’t have food. When you socialize around food the more likely you are to snack more.
- Don’t skip meals. When you skip a meal your body goes into storage mode and when you finally do eat your body is trying to reserve as much fat and calories as it can because it doesn’t know when it will get another meal. Also when you skip a meal you are more apt to over eat because you are overly hungry.
- Be wary of beverages. Remember – beverages have calories as well. Be cautious of sodas, alcoholic beverages and other caloric beverages you drink. Try to stick with the 2 glass rule and then switch to seltzer or water.
- If you don’t want it ….don’t eat it! Avoid eating anything that you don’t really want. During the holidays we have so many options if we try to eat everything we are going to find ourselves over indulging. At the start of the holiday season make a list of you favorite holiday dishes and focus on those being your holiday treats.