Here are some of my favorite tips for staying on track with a healthy diet during the fast-approaching holiday celebrations.
Everyone seems to relax their rules about eating when it comes to Christmas. With sugary baked goods and a handful of chocolates for breakfast, an insane array of snacks and drinks, and a main event showcasing more food than we would ever normally include on a dinner menu—it’s easy to see why overeating happens so much at this time of year!
Christmas needs a more mindful approach if we want to enjoy our food without feeling sick and bloated at the end of the day. And without having added excess pounds we don’t want.
- Start the day with healthy choices: Holidays are no exception to your body’s need for both exercise and quiet reflection. Go on a walk or run, do some yoga, have a morning meditation. Start your day off with healthy choices that get your blood moving and encourage a calm, aware mind. Not only will this help you feel your best, but you’ll also be able to deal with the stress that Christmas often brings more calmly and you’ll make better choices with the massive selection of food in front of you.
- Hydrate!This is something I am working on myself, the need to drink more water. This is essential for promoting good digestion, energy, and focus, transporting nutrients, encouraging circulation and metabolism, and many other aspects of what it takes to build a strong body. Water also plays a part in regulating your appetite, so be sure to drink up throughout the day.
- Check in with your hunger: How do you want to feel at the end of the meal? I’m guessing you would rather feel satisfied and happy than overly full, bloated and completely exhausted. Ask yourself where your hunger levels are before you start eating and continue to check in throughout the meal, this simple exercise can be the difference between the turkey-coma and a post-dinner family game. And for the love of all things holy, STOP when you’ve had enough!
- Choose wisely: Be sure to enjoy options with high-quality protein and fats to encourage satiation and reduce extra carb cravings. And of course, veggies should be the star of your dish; non-starchy varieties like leafy greens are rich in fiber and phytonutrients that will fill you up without the regret. Sweet potatoes and butternut squash are starchier options that can still be part of a well-balanced plate, just try to stick to ½ cup portions of these to aid in blood sugar balancing. Go easy on the mash potatoes and roasties. a small portion can delight your tastebuds without doing too much damage to your weight and health.
- Chew slowly: It may seem too easy, but paying closer attention to the pace at which you chew your food can make a huge impact on the total amount of food you consume. It’s also a great way to more mindfully enjoy it. For a meal that took so much time, love, and energy to prepare, doesn’t it deserve that kind of appreciation? Its amazing how easy it is to eat less and feel completely satisfied when you pay attention to the tastes and textures of each bite.
- Do something pleasurable just for you: Play with the kids and/or grandchildren, go for a family walk to the park, something that brings you pleasure just for the sake of it, without the need to consume food or drink. Pure fun is the ultimate aim here!