It’s officially FALL which means the holidays are just around the corner. I love Thanksgiving and Christmas; my favorite part has got to be the food! But how do you stay healthy during the holidays when there are just so many delicious temptations around every corner?
I always follow the 80/20 rule; however, I know everyone has different health and fitness goals. You may be training for a competition, in which case you might be really strict. Or you may be on a weight-loss journey in which case you might be moderately strict. I don’t want to get preachy because I definitely do indulge a bit, but I’m careful not to fall completely off the wagon for the two most deliciously indecent months out of the year. Here’s how!
1. Schedule ONE Cheat Day a Week
I usually don’t encourage cheat days, as it can often lead to over indulgence. Normally throughout the year I will have my favorite foods in moderation. That being said, the Holidays are a whole different ball game. It’s important to stay on track during the non-festive days. You may be tempted with all the amazing treats around but limit yourself to one cheat day a week, that way you can look forward to your favorite treat. For instance, we love the this Dark Chocolate Raspberry Fondue!
2. Drink Plenty of WATER
If you’re like me, when you’re mingling at a party you always need something in your hand. If it needs to be a drink, be sure to have a large glass of water between alcoholic beverages. Your head will thank you the next day! Alcohol and high sugar cocktails not only wreak havoc on your system but usually have no nutritional value (which is why I LOVE Blender Babes’ cocktail recipes!). Be sure to drink plenty of water in between, or you can fizz it up a bit with sparkling water! I like to squeeze lemon or lime in Perrier and add a few drops of liquid stevia. It tastes just like soda pop without the added calories! Water will also help keep you feeling full longer so you’re not tempted to reach for the sugary goodies.
3. Be MINDFUL of Your Snacking
Really think about what you’re eating. Are you just snacking at the party for something to do or simply because it’s in front of you? Eat when you’re hungry not just because it’s there (you know what I’m talking about!). Before you reach for the next snack, ask yourself “Do I really need this? Am I really hungry or am I just boredom snacking?” Try this Smoky Cauliflower and White Bean Dip, this tasty hummus alternative is lighter and healthier than other bean dips or spreads.
4. WRITE it Down
If you are writing down everything you eat you are less likely to overindulge. There are many free apps out there to track your daily food intake. My Fitness Pal is my personal favorite. It really helps keep you accountable for what you’re putting in your body.
5. Be a HEALTH Conscious Host
If you’re planning a party take the opportunity to surround yourself with healthy foods! Make veggie and fruit trays, salads, lean proteins and “lightened-up” desserts, such as our Homemade Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream or Dairy-Free Frozen Peanut Butter Pie. Make sure there are non-alcoholic beverage options as well; try the delicious Tyler Florence’s Ultimate Arnold Palmer or Nojito Recipe!
6. Do NOT Skip Meals!
Do not skip meals, especially before an event. How often have you said, “I’m not going to eat all day so I can eat whatever I want at the dinner party”? Yeah, me too! Eat a light protein rich snack like Greek yogurt and a piece of fruit before heading out the door to stop you from over-eating at the party.
7. SLOW DOWN Your Eating
Start with a small plate and take your time eating. Enjoy and savor your food. It takes 20 minutes for our stomach to tell our brain that we are full. Studies have proven that people who are in tune to what they are eating and take their time are more likely to eat less and feel satisfied sooner, rather than overeating and feeling bloated after the meal.
8. It’s OK to Say “NO Thank You.”
Just when you’re feeling full from dinner here comes Aunt Edna with her famous chocolate fudge brownies. It is ok to decline! Don’t overeat to spare someone’s feelings, they will understand when you explain that you are satisfied and don’t want to overdo it.
9. Stay CONSISTENT with Your Workouts
Stay Active! You may not be able to keep up with your regular workouts but make a point to at least get in 30 minutes of activity a day. Even going for a short walk will make a huge difference in your weight. There are a lot of simple exercises you can practice in your backyard or in your living room, no gym required. Make the time!
10. Take the FOCUS OFF Food
Remember the holidays are about spending time with your family and friends. Make plans that don’t involve food. Bring games or plan fun activates with the kids. Go through old photo albums, tell stories, and reminisce. It’s simple: Enjoy your time together!
REMEMBER: One or two days of indulging throughout the holidays isn’t going to sabotage your diet, as long as you get back on track the next day. If you stay focused and consistent with your healthy eating habits and exercise, the holidays will be a breeze to you! If you have any more tips that have helped you stay healthy during the holidays, please share with our community in the comments. :) HAPPY HOLIDAYS!