Thanksgiving has come and gone. December is on the horizon and the season of overindulgence will soon be here.
But don’t fret! You can still keep your healthy habits from now until the new year and still enjoy the holidays.
Despite all the parties and events that may come your way, you can still enjoy the season of eating.
So don’t let the holidays dampen you goals of keeping healthy into the new year. Keep you healthy habits keep healthy habits this holiday season with these eight tips:
- Fill up on fiber and protein rich foods: When you go to a party look for the veggies, beans, and lentils, and lean protein foods like eggs, chicken, turkey, grass fed beef, and pork. Vegetables have fiber that will fill you up and nutrients you need to thrive. Eat less fried foods, processed meats, foods with sugar, and cheeses.
- Keep Moving: Eating well and exercising go hand in hand to maintain weight. Find time to work out at least four times a week. This includes cardio, strength and flexibility exercises. ind an activity you like to do that will get your heart pumping and build lean muscle. Don’t know where to start? Take a long walk after dinner, check out Youtube video, or join a class with a buddy to keep that motivation going.
- Bring Your Own Food: Going to a place that might not have any healthy options? Bring your own dish. Veggie platters, or a vegetable based entree will fill you up with fiber and protein like my Turkey, Zucchini, and Carrot Meatloaf.
- Watch Your Liquor: I am not going to tell you not to drink, but I would say stick to one drink a day if you’re a woman and 2 drinks if you are a man. Too many drinks will increase your waistline along with your risk for type 2 diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. So if you are conscious of carbohydrates and calories you can try to stick with vodka, rum, gin, tequila, whiskey, scotch, and brandy. Use lime and seltzer instead of sugary mixers like juices or tonic. Want to avoid those holiday hangovers? Stay hydrated with water and stick to clear liquor.
- Watch Your Sugar: Sugar is abundant this holiday season in everything from cookies and cakes to candy canes, pies, and even entree and side dishes. Too much can increase your waistline and also put you at risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, and dementia. One teaspoon of sugar is equal to 4 grams of sugar. This can add up pretty quickly so be sure to check food labels and try to stay below 25 grams (6 teaspoons) a day
- Plan Ahead: If you know you’re going to a party tonight plan your meals for earlier in the day so you are eating whole nutrient dense foods that will satisfy your hunger. Foods like almonds, walnuts, pumpkin/sunflower seeds, avocados, or plain yogurt are great snacks to eat before your event later in the day.
- Give In To Your Indulgence: The last thing you want to do is deny yourself a treat during this season. Make it something special that you may not be able to have any other time of the year.
- Watch Your Portions: Portion distortion is alive and well in our society. This is something to be aware of this holiday season. Fill up on nutrient rich foods like vegetables. Eat tiny portions of sweets, treats, and other indulgent foods. One trick is to use a small plate and wait 20 minutes until your brain knows your stomach is full.
Remember healthy habits start with one step at a time. Any small step is a win that you can celebrate!