FoodFIT Friday: 5 Healthy Holiday Hints
Holidays can be a time of parties, parties, parties…and pounds. Faced with all those delicious Thanksgiving pies and Christmas cookies, it can be hard to stick to your diet and fitness plans. Often, we allow ourselves to overindulge because we tell ourselves we’ll get back on the diet or into the gym in January.
But what if you could enjoy the parties of the season without adding pounds or making your January workouts harder?
Here are 5 hints to help you have a healthier holiday season:
—-Watch those carbs
Part of the reason we put on pounds during the holidays is the prevalence of high-glycemic carbohydrates and sugars. Cookies, pies, cakes, candies, stuffing, potatoes, breads…all these keep us in the carb-crave cycle, and if we aren’t burning them off with plenty of exercise, keep the pounds adding up. This season, try to limit yourself only to those bready or sweet carbs you really, really love, and skip the rest.
—-Eat something healthy before you go to the party.
There is always plenty to eat at parties, but it might not be the healthiest food. Before you head out, fill up on a salad, nibble some protein, or snack on a handful of nuts. If you don’t arrive at the party hungry, you won’t be as tempted to munch on the high-carb offerings. That way, you can be selective about what you eat.
—-Substitute healthier versions of holiday favorites
We all have our favorite holiday treats and traditional foods. But let’s face it: sometimes, Grandma’s sweet potatoes weren’t exactly healthy. This year, try replacing the marshmallows on top of the sweet potatoes with pecans, or make mashed turnips or cauliflower instead of mashed potatoes. You might discover a new holiday favorite!
—-Practice Mindful Eating
At parties and family gatherings, it’s all too easy to shovel food in our mouths without really tasting it. Practice Mindful Eating this season by taking the time to savor each bite. Pay true attention to what you are eating. What does it taste like? Smell like? Can you differentiate flavors? What is the texture? The temperature? Mindful Eating is a way to give genuine thanks for the delicious foods of the season, and also to help you feel more satisfied by what you eat. One nibble might be so satisfying that you won’t need to eat more!
Often we are wreaking havoc on our bodies and adding to our holiday pounds with those glasses of eggnog, beer, wine, hot cocoa and other seasonal beverages. It’s OK to indulge in moderation, but many of these high sugar and carb drinks are also dehydrating. When we are dehydrated, we are more likely to mistake thirst for hunger…and reach for that cookie when we really need to drink water instead. Make sure to fill up on water this season to stay hydrated and flush out those overindulging toxins.
Stay Healthy and Happy this Holiday Season!!!