The holidays are upon us and if you’re like me, you’ll drown yourself in mashed potatoes and before you know it, you’ve put on an extra 5-10 pounds and it’s not even New Years Eve. I’ve always told myself (half joking/half serious) that it’s to help with hibernation. This year, however, I’m going to be good. I’m staying hopeful, but cheers to us for even trying – amiright? Here are a few of my tips for staying healthy for the holidays!
Eat Before You Go
Eating a small snack at home before arriving to your holiday party is a great way to stay on track. I usually grab a protein bar so that the protein balances my blood sugar and I can avoid that hungry feeling. By ditching the hungry feeling, you will not need to tackle the appetizers right away and can enjoy a catching up with Aunt Sally. Balanced blood sugar will also help calm the anxiety that always tags along for the holidays.
What’s for Dinner?
I always find it helpful to know ahead of time what the hostess is preparing. Whether its for lunch or dinner, knowing what is going to be served helps plan for the evening. I always offer to bring a dish – which is a great way to ensure that there will be at least one thing there you can enjoy guilt free. If the hostess insists on taking care of everything, politely ask what she’s serving so you know what you’re in for and what you can eat.
Cocktail calories can add up fast! Choosing clean alcohol is just as important. Vodka, Tequila and Red Wine are smart options because they are all low in sugar. I prefer vodka/soda with lime, sometimes with a tiny splash of cranberry. I also try to work out the morning before an event which helps your fitness and food guilt.
Like cocktails, appetizers can easily add up. Avoid stuffing your face if you know you are going to enjoy the main course by politely declining the apps. However, if you didn’t have time to eat before hand and are in need of a little somethin’- somethin’, try to stick to the veggie tray and hummus or something that’s protein based. Avoid friend food or bread as they can cause spiked blood pressure as well as inflammation and weight gain. Try to spend more time with friends and family instead of the chips and dip.
Learn How to Say No
Many times we eat as a polite response. It happens to the best of us, but there is no reason to eat foods that make us feel guilty or don’t agree with our stomachs. It is okay to politely decline food that doesn’t sit well with you. This was a challenge for me because I always felt terrible saying no in fear of hurting the hostess’s feelings, but at the end of the day, your host won’t hold it against you and you will be happy that you had self control. Bonus points if you can learn how to say no without making an excuse.
Drinks or Desert
If I’m going to enjoy a cocktail at a party, I try to stay away from the dessert tray (or vise versa). Alcohol already contains sugar, so by skipping dessert, I am able to avoid double layer calories. I’ve also noticed that by having a cocktail instead, it eliminates that hungry feeling making it a easier to say no to sweets. You want to enjoy yourself, but stay conscious with what you’re eating and how it’ll make you feel later.
I hope this helped encourage you all to make healthier choices this holiday season, and if you decide to prepare for hibernation instead – that’s okay too! I can’t say enough how grateful I am for another year of life and another holiday season spent with friends and family! XO