We all face food challenges with the holiday season! Family and friends are constantly cooking or sharing sweets, the weather is getting colder, and holiday parties are in full swing. It seems nearly impossible to keep on track with healthy eating. However, don’t stress! Have fun without having to hide under an oversized sweater until March.
Here are some tips from Stacy Wise, Urban Vybe co-founder and certified nutrition coach:
1. Don’t skip your workouts! We’re all crazy busy, but act like exercise is your job and you can’t get out of it. Studies show that people who start the day working out have greater success of keeping on track throughout the day. If you can’t make it to your regular class, do something active and quick.
2. Eat before you hit a party! The mind set of saving up calories all day to indulge at night will set you up to pig out on all the wrong foods. You will have much more control if you eat a snack or even a full meal of the right foods before you go. Then, if you do indulge on party food, eat super slowly, and drink a full glass of water while you eat.
3. Don’t start down a slippery slope! The party food you’re not used to eating may upset your digestive track, causing gas and bloating. When you feel big already, your inner voice might tell you, “I don’t care right now. I’ll worry about losing the weight later.” Stop those negative thoughts and stay positive.
4. Practice practice practice will power! Work on saying no everywhere to things you know you shouldn’t be eating. The more you do, the stronger you become. Save special treats for special times and use the three-bite rule. You don’t have to swear off deserts completely!
5. Be mindful! Use this crazy trick for avoiding overindulging on red light foods. Place your hand on the table and tap each finger one at a time from your thumb to your pinky. Go through this 3 times, while telling yourself to hold on, breathe, and try to lower your heart rate. This drives your mind into awareness so you can eliminate mindless eating.
6. Make better drink choices! We know the holidays mean drinking a lot and often. You can try the homemade eggnog, but don’t have the gallon. Pick drinks with fewer calories such as zero-carb vodka water (tonic will tack on up to 9 grams of carbs per drink) or wine which only has 4 carbs per glass. Champagne is even lower but skip the OJ – those mimosas will add carbs up quickly. We all know those yummy margaritas are bad (just 2 will give you 60 grams of carbs) so if it’s your favorite, have one and switch. Just 2 beers will give you 26 grams! Finally, remember the water. It’s easy to forget but make a point to drink at least 2 bottles, and you’ll thank yourself in the morning.
7. Practice eliminating complacency! The best way to be successful during the holidays and the rest of the year, is to be self-aware. Think about what are you doing, what are you eating, and why?
8. Remember your goals! What do you want to look like, how do you want to feel? You may already do this during a tough workout – you focus on the results instead of the current discomfort. It is the exact same mindset with what and how much you eat. If you practice telling yourself before or during your meals what you want to look like or how healthy you want to be, you will be successful!
9. Don’t beat yourself up when you slip up! Give yourself a one-time indulgence, then get right back up on the horse and continue riding your clean eating path! Chances are you will not be perfect and that’s OK! As with everything, just try your best.