It’s that time of the year when most of us have too much on our plate, literally and figuratively.
Believe me, I know. While juggling everything on the to-do list it’s easy to drop the ball on eating healthy. Here are five simple things I do to stay on the healthy eating track during the holidays. You can do them too as you host your holiday parties, attend your office functions and ring in the new year. Read on. (Or, just watch the 3 videos above if you’re too busy to read!)
1.) It’s always easier to eat healthy when you’re the host or hostess because –
- You’re in control of the menu
- You can serve yourself smaller portions
- You can pour yourself lots of water in-between servings of alcohol
My guests make fun of me for serving healthy and unconventional holiday food, but they also eat it all up! To top it off, they feel great the next morning (without that after-party guilt).At my latest holiday party we had low fat popcorn, toasted pitas with hummus and baby carrots while we waited on dinner. For the entree we had low fat bison sliders, kale chips and red wine. For dessert we had sweet tangerines and persimmons. Healthy eating can be tasty- and the party is just as fun. But, we can’t be the hosts and hostesses all the time, so read on.
2.) Stick to the 5-A-Day Plan. Eating lots of fruits and vegetables during the holidays will ensure you get enough antioxidants, vitamins and minerals to keep your immune system and your stamina high during these cold, busy months. They’ll keep your skin healthy and glowing so you look great at your functions. The best thing is they have lots of fiber and water which fills you up and keeps you satisfied with less Calories.
3.) Put a Cap on Your Treats. Keep a mental note of how much wine and other “extras” you eat. (Extras are foods that supply more calories than nutrients and aren’t part of your regular healthy eating plan like alcohol, cookies, pretzels, etc.) Decide in advance on an acceptable number of treat servings you’ll allow yourself daily. Mine is two per day.
It’s helpful know what a serving is when you’re counting them. Here are some holiday serving size examples: a serving of wine is 6-oz (about 150 Calories); two medium cookies (2.5″ in diameter) are a serving (around 100 Calories per cookie); cupcakes are all different sizes but they run 200-500 calories depending on the size. How many extra calories can you spare? Decide before you get to the party, and stick to your decision.
4.) Have half-portions then you can go back for more. You’ll feel like you had 2 servings when you only had one. Always share your dessert. It’s good for you, and it’s a sweet experience in more than one way!
5.) Take time to chew and enjoy. This is the season for delicious treats that we don’t get all year long. If you’re going to indulge don’t waste the experience by chewing twice then swallowing. Take some time for mindful eating and savor the flavor in your mouth.
When you follow these five, simple guidelines, you can buck the system – not gain weight over the holidays and still enjoy your holiday treats! Go ahead and give it a try, and then let me know how you’re doing in the comments below.
Check out some more healthy holiday party ideas in this post.