As the holidays are quickly approaching, this time of year is always the hardest to keep up with healthy eating and regular exercise. While indulging in your favorite sweets, Thanksgiving dishes and family traditions, your health does not always need to go by the wayside…completely. Easy swaps and simple changes can make a huge difference in how you feel (and look) during and after the holiday season. Here are 7 tips to stay on track through the holidays and get a jump-start on that New Year’s Resolution!
- Stay Active – While you may not want to take an hour to go to the gym while the family is in town, creating a fun way to get the whole family to participate is a great way to get active before the food coma hits. Organize a family flag football game for Thanksgiving morning before cooking ensues or take a walk and look at the stars after you’ve eaten!
- Lighten Up Typical Meals – No one will even notice these simple swaps, but they will notice they feel much better the day after! A few simple suggestions are to use fat-free chicken broth to baste the turkey or make gravy, reduce butter and oil wherever you can and try using plain Greek yogurt or fat-free sour cream in dips, casseroles, and mashed potatoes.
- Watch Your Portions – The table may look like an all you cat eat buffet, but being mindful of your serving sizes may be the trick to keep your pants fitting! Instead of loading up on mashed potatoes, which are available all year, fill your plate up first with the seasonal favorites!
- Enjoy Each Other’s Company – Enjoying conversation, putting the fork down between bites and tasting each mouthful will leave you feeling more satisfied after just one plate instead of not allowing your stomach to tell your brain, “that’s enough!” Try to fill up first on fiber-rich foods and foods that hold water to feel more full.
- Sip Your Alcohol – Alcohol calories add up quickly! While it is easy to get caught in the moment on the day and want to out drink your Uncle, you will not be feeling great the next day, and will be drinking way too many calories you would rather be eating! Instead, stay hydrated throughout the day and enjoy a glass of wine with the feast!
- Be Realistic – While you may not lose weight during the holidays, focusing on maintenance will change your attitude about eating and indulging. While limiting yourself may cause a big binge meal at the end of the week, indulging slightly throughout the week will make maintaining weight easier and even easier to kick off a few pounds after the holidays pass.
- Focus on What Matters – While the holidays are the best time of year to indulge, they are also a time to create lasting memories with the friends and family you spend them with. Instead of creating memories around food, take food out of the picture and focus on the people who are surrounding you for them!