It can be especially difficult to stick to your diet and nutrition goals during the holiday season. Whether you’re trying to lose weight or just avoid gaining it, here are some tips to help you navigate holiday eating and begin the New Year with a head start on your fitness goals.
- Use a smaller plate. By using a smaller plate, you will trick your mind into thinking you are eating more than you are. A full small plate will have much fewer calories than a full large plate. You’ll still be satisfied but without overeating.
- Add healthy food options. Many traditional holiday meals are full of sugar, salt or fried foods. By swapping these out for similar, yet healthier alternatives, you can still enjoy your favorites without going overboard. Or, simply adding a salad to the meal can help you fill up on healthier foods before overindulging on less healthy options.
- Drink lots of water. Drinking water can keep your hunger in check and is also essential to metabolism. Water can help you avoid overeating and will assist your body in the natural functions that burn fat.
- Get plenty of sleep. Behind diet and exercise, sleep is the next most important factor in your overall health. Getting enough sleep will keep you relaxed and energized, giving you the energy to exercise and minimizing the stress that can lead to unhealthy snacking.
- Get active. You can’t forget to exercise, as it is the best way to work off extra calories. The holidays are a great time to find family activities that can get everyone exercising together.
- Save sweets for special occasions. Instead of indulging every day, save your special desserts or meals for special occasions like Christmas Day or Christmas Eve. Eliminating sweets on other days can make a huge difference in your diet.
- Minimize sugary holiday beverages. Eggnog, hot chocolate, cider, and other holiday drinks are full of sugar and provide very little (if any) nutritional value. Like your sweets, save these for special occasions, and stick to water when possible!
- Be mindful. Remind yourself of your fitness goals. Going into a meal with your nutrition in mind will help you eat responsibly.
- Get others involved. If you are celebrating with friends and family, make an effort to get everyone involved in making healthy choices throughout the holidays. Having the support of others is incredibly effective for keeping you on track.
- Each day is a new chance to get it right. It’s okay if you slip up every now and then. Don’t beat yourself up for overeating, but don’t use it as an excuse to abandon all self-control, either. Start each day focused on your health goals, and you will be able to indulge responsibly during the holidays.
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