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Staying on The Track During The Holidays

Jan 20, 2022 | Nutrition & Diet

With the holiday season in full swing, this often means work Christmas parties, family gatherings, and lots and lots of food. During this time of year it’s easy to fall off the wagon, especially if you are trying to stick to any type of diet. Now, there are some sources out there that will tell you to drink a protein shake instead of indulging in holiday treats. I wish I were joking. There are, however, ways to enjoy this time of year with your friends and family without completely going overboard.

 

1.     Drink plenty of water!! I cannot stress this enough. If you are going to any kind of social gathering, drink a full glass of water before you go. It will help you feel a little full but also the brain can often confuse hunger and thirst. This can help stop those signals from getting crossed. Plus, staying hydrated is always important!

2.     Eat before you go. If you go to a holiday party starving, you are more likely to overeat, especially with all the tantalizing treats that will be around. If it’s a lunch party, make sure you eat a good breakfast. Foods that are high in protein and fiber will help you feel fuller longer, so try eating something like scrambled eggs with fruit or whole grain toast.

3.     Watch your portion sizes. If you are the type of person that has to try a little bit of everything (like I am), make it just that, a little bit. Do not make the amount of food on your plate three times what it would normally be, you are setting yourself up to overeat. A trick I like to use is using a smaller size plate. This will force you to minimize the amount of food you take. Remember, everything in moderation!

4.     Choose foods you truly love! If fruit cake is your favorite holiday treat and the brownies are just meh, eat the fruit cake and skip the brownies. Don’t eat something just because it’s there. Again this allows you to enjoy the foods you truly love without overeating. Portion control is important here too! Have a slice, not half the cake.

5.     Eat lots of protein. Protein will help you to feel fuller longer than carbohydrates or fats will, so make sure you eat enough protein while you’re at a party. Protein is also important for building and maintaining muscle mass, which is definitely a plus!

6.     Enjoy your food. I feel like I shouldn’t have to say this but instead of stuffing something into your mouth and swallowing it as fast as you can, take a minute to really enjoy it. This might sound cheesy, but make sure you take a minute to smell what you are going to eat and enjoy the aroma. When you take a bite, truly taste it and experience the flavors. This will make the experience of eating more enjoyable and more satisfying.

7.     Slow down between helpings. It can take your brain up to 30 minutes to tell you that you are full. If you eat too quickly and go for seconds right away, you will most likely end up overeating. Try chatting with friends or family for a bit before going for that next helping.

8.     Ignore pressure from others. If you are dedicated to staying on track this holiday season, you will most likely hear phrases like “why aren’t you eating that”, “what do you mean you are only going to have one dessert” “Just one bite won’t kill you”, etc. Don’t let this bring you down! You are choosing a healthy lifestyle for YOU. If you have goals that you are driven to achieve, don’t let the naysayers pull you off track.

 

Above all else, enjoy the holiday season! It’s a great time for friends, family, and food. It only comes around one time a year so make the most of it. Remember, no regrets!

 

Happy Holidays everyone!

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