The holidays can be a very exciting and joyous times; however, they can also be filled with busy schedules and stress. We also see that mental health issues can be most prominent during this time of year. Additionally, food and beverages are everywhere, and not always the most healthy options. We see treats, sweets, and special foods around every corner. So let’s come up with a plan to stay healthy during these temptations.
The first step you should take is to have a plan! Write out what your goals are for the holiday season, and how you plan to achieve them. Make sure that your goals are realistic. For some people, weight loss may not be a realistic goal, but rather weight maintenance (not gaining weight) would be great progress. So be sure the goals are realistic. Then have a plan for your goals. Perhaps you make it a goal to track your calories throughout the holidays to support your weight management goals. Or, you make it a goal to exercise 3-5 times a week even when things get busy. If we set goals and make our health a priority, we are much more likely to be successful.
Finally, here are some tips for navigating all the holiday season social events and parties:
- Don’t arrive overly hungry! Get a little protein snack before a social event – it helps to take the edge off, and can prevent you from overeating higher calorie foods provided at the occasion
- Bring your own healthy dish to a party. Try foods like veggies and hummus as an appetizer, or a nice big green leafy salad as a side dish – you will know for sure there will be a healthy option, and I bet others will be grateful for your contribution as well.
- Don’t keep favorite holiday treats around the house! You will be much more likely to eat them if they are there. If you like to make special foods, make them and give them away, or adjust the amount that you make
- Consider healthier substitutions in favorite dishes. You can often reduce the amount of sugar in recipes, or substitute applesauce for butter, or whose whole wheat flour for regular. All of these modifications can add up!
- Only get one plate of food/don’t go up for 2nds – this can greatly decrease your overall intake for the night.
- Be choosy at buffets – look at what all the options are before you select what you’ll eat. If we take a little bit of everything that is offered, we can really rack up a lot of calories.
- Count dessert as part of your meal. This helps to prevent going over what you planned for.
Lastly, if you're needing some healthy recipe ideas or inspiration, be sure to watch our recent webcast: