September 28, 2016 | 5 minute read
Published in Active Meaningful Years
Ok, are you ready? Because these are going to come fast and furious – but these are the best ways to stay healthy over the holidays, and not pack on those extra unwanted pounds.
Why do we go to family gathers and work parties? It's to see our friends and loved ones. So see them! Use that time to socialize and be present rather than rummaging for snacks. A good idea is to "pre-eat" something with protein and vegetables to stabilize your blood sugar so you can keep your focus where it belongs: on present company. Think about it this way, the more present you are, the more you will pay attention to who got what in secret santa!
This one you will probably like – skip the fruit cake (nobody likes you, fruit cake) and go for what you love. There is no point in eating a plate stacked a mile high with sweets you don't want to eat just because someone made them. Now, this isn't an excuse to overeat, just a reason not to pick up the things you don't like.
Speaking of overeating... Abandon the negative thoughts. Don't feel guilty about eating foods you don't normally eat. These guilty feelings can breed more unhealthy behaviors like over eating. Give yourself permission to indulge guilt-free, and make a mental note to get back on track with your normal eating routine the next day. Like the old saying goes 'one day won't kill you!'
Do you like pumpkin pie and egg nog? If not, why are you eating it? Calories add up, and just because it's there doesn't mean you have to eat it. Listen to your body and if there isn't a treat on the table that you like, skip it. There will be plenty of times to grab a hot chocolate or a scoop of your favorite ice cream over the holidays, so why indulge when you don't even want to.
Avoiding alcohol is hard. Especially over the holidays (think: office Christmas party, or going to the in-laws). The average adult consumes almost 100 calories a day from alcohol, and that's not counting the parties or the diners. Need a kick, and have to drive? Skip the beer and grab a bottle of sparkling water instead... You'll avoid having to walk the extra 15 minutes for that one beer you drank.
Balance all of the rich foods that contain sugar, alcohol, and meat with plenty of alkalized foods like lemons and organic greens. While not everyone agrees that eating too much of the same types of food can upset the pH balance in your body, it does make sense to balance out your heavier dishes with plenty of greens.
Swap out carb-heavy mashed potatoes for pureed cauliflower, and more vegetable side dishes. Just try to avoid smothering them in cheese! Bonus: All that extra fiber will help keep you regular, even if you do overindulge a bit on the cheese platter.
Ok, here is the sad truth. You can still gain weight even if you eat healthy. Overdoing the veggies and dip is the same as overdoing the ice cream – except at least you know that ice cream is an indulgence. Just remember to manage your portion sizes, and have a wonderful holiday season!
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