The holidays will look different for the majority of us this year. Besides not having the same size gatherings this might be the first year you forego the traditional foods for takeout or decide to roll your sleeves up and make the meals yourself from soup to nuts. No matter where this season finds you, here are few tips to get you to the New Year feeling like you have more control and a greater ability to navigate whatever the holiday season throws your way.
Simple Tips To Navigate Holiday Eating
Make What You Enjoy: Since this year doesn’t entail larger affairs maybe scale back a bit on the menu and decide to make or bring the things you truly enjoy most and skip the rest. It’s also okay to taste things without finishing them so you feel like you enjoyed without going overboard. Remember not to skip meals throughout the day in order to “save up” for calories later. That usually is a recipe for eating in excess.
Balance Your Macros: When plating your meal make sure you have a combination of lean protein, healthy carbs, and good fat so you keep hunger and your hormones under control. Think about dividing your plate in 3rds with 1/3 lean protein, 2/3rds carbohydrates and a dash of fat. Remember to keep starchy carbs to small/condiment sized portions.
Control Your Portions: It’s easy to say you won’t eat sweets or have an alcoholic beverage, but then when you’re confronted with it lose all willpower. You can still eat and keep the pounds off with the simple strategy of portion control. Eat reasonably small portions, limit the foods you know you should limit, and don't stuff yourself.
Know Your Triggers: Each of us has our "trigger" foods, those foods we just can't seem to control our intake of. They taste so good but make us feel guilty, tired, low energy, and wanting more. Keeping their intake to one or two events versus repeatedly throughout the season allows for a balance between moderation and overindulgence.
Get Your Rest and Stay Hydrated: Not getting enough sleep and letting the stress and anxiety of our worlds get the best of us can leave us tired and fatigued. Often times we replace water with caffeine to stay awake but this makes us mildly dehydrated and thinking we want food when in actuality we're just tired and thirsty. Make sure to get your rest and if you can’t do what you can to stay hydrated. Keeping hydrated especially before meals can significantly curb how much food we consume at that meal! A slice of orange, lemon or lime will seem refreshing and flavorful; flavored non-caloric seltzers accomplish the same thing while keeping cravings in check.
Get Moving: No matter what activity looks like for you these days, get it in. It could be a simple walk or logging into your gym online to keep up with your healthy routines. Exercise can be just the thing to increase your energy, reduce stress, and get your blood flowing. By being active in the morning, you'll improve your insulin sensitivity, making your body more ready to handle the calories during the day and also eliminate some of the holiday stress.
Be Present: Since our get togethers will be small, take the time to really enjoy those you are able to be with. Enjoy the conversations, be present, and savor not only the company but the food you eat. Eat slow, put your fork down between bites, and taste each mouthful. This is one of the easiest ways to enjoy your meal and feel satisfied with one plate full of food without going back for more. Choosing fruits, vegetables, broth-based soups, salads, and other foods with lots of water and fermentable fiber can add to that feeling of fullness too.
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