As the cold weather sets in, that means the holidays are upon us. Throughout November and December, we’ll be enjoying leftover trick-or-treat sweets, cooking turkey and mashed potatoes, and carving the roast beast. Unfortunately, for health-conscious feasters, the volume of food is overwhelming, and it’s easy to slip back into unhealthy habits. If you’re worried about munching on more pie than you should, try these three tactics to ensure you’ll be happy and healthy this holiday season.
You can eat whatever you want, as much as you want, as long as you expend the extra energy throughout the day. There’s no requirement for you to sacrifice your favorite foods, but if you go in for another spoonful or five of cranberry sauce, make sure you use your holiday free time to move. You could go to the gym or head out on a run through the crisp, cold air, but if you’re celebrating with friends and family, a hike or skiing trip might be a better option. After all, the holidays are about spending time with the people you love. What better way to do this than by staying healthy together?
Get Some Rest
We all know how frustrating it feels not to have enough energy to enjoy the holidays. With all of the sugar and hot chocolate and warm cups of joe that are consumed throughout late fall and early winter, plus the anticipation of fun days ahead, you might find yourself growing restless. Unfortunately, low energy is equated with the consumption of high-calorie foods, including those high in sugar, salt, or fat content. Make sure that you aren’t eating these foods too close to bedtime, and try to stick to a regular sleep schedule so that you can fully enjoy the festivities.
This one is pretty difficult for those of us whose families love sweets. From pumpkin pie to sugar cookies, fun-sized Snickers to candy canes, how can anyone avoid loosening their belts at the end of a holiday meal? The key is to begin with high-density foods, ones that offer plenty of protein and healthy fats. These foods help you feel fuller much faster than were you to snack bread or something else less nutrient-dense. In addition, it’s important to pace your eating. It’s okay to have a small helping of dessert, but make sure you’re hungry enough that you’ll actually enjoy it while being full enough that you won’t be tempted to eat more. Eat slowly and chew carefully, and you’ll find that a smaller plate can satisfy your grumbling stomach.