10 Tips for Eating Clean During the Holidays
By: Kayla Brown
While the holiday season is great for togetherness and spending time with family and friends, for many people, it also means weight gain and unhealthy eating habits. But the holidays don’t have to be a constant struggle with your health. With these tips and a balance of food and fun, you can stay healthy and happy this holiday season.
1. Control your portion sizes
Research shows that the larger the portion size, the more you tend to overeat. Don’t be fooled by large portion sizes this season. Be sure to make your own plate – and give yourself about a small handful or less of your favorite holiday foods.
2. Be Aware of Distractions
Interacting with family and friends are the whole point of the holiday season! Just be wary of your actions while you’re conversing with your loved ones. When we are distracted mentally, flavors tend to taste milder, so we overeat to compensate for the less intense flavor. Be mindful about what you’re eating while you’re enjoying time with your loved ones.
3. Don't Skip Meals
We all have done it before – avoided food all day to save room for the great holiday dinner. However, there are so many problems with this strategy! The biggest problem being that when you get to the food, you automatically overeat because you’ve been starving yourself all day. Not to mention how irritable and sickly you can feel from being hungry. Eat a good breakfast, lunch and light snacks before hitting your holiday dinner parties. It’ll keep you from overeating and keep you happy.
4. Remove excess butters and oils
If you’re the one doing the cooking this season, eliminate the use of extra butter/oil in your meals. A great way to do this is by using nonstick cookware. Also, enjoy holiday foods that are lower in fat in calories. For example, turkey breast without the skin is delicious and much better for you than fried chicken.
5. Survey the options before filling your plate
Rather than filling your plate up along the way, survey the options first – prioritizing the items you really want first. Skip out on adding foods that are your least favorite. If you don’t love it, there’s no point of adding it to you plate.
6. Eat until you are satisfied
Be mindful of when you are full and eat until you are satisfied. You can always take a plate to go and eat leftovers later. Don’t eat until you’re stuffed – that is a clear indication that you have been overeating.
7. Watch out for alcohol
Not only are most alcoholic drinks full of calories and sugar, alcohol can actually induce overeating. Alcohol lessens our inhibition, therefore we feel less guilty about indulgences.
8. Keep the water coming
Attempt to drink 5 to 8 cups of water a day. Not only will it keep you hydrated, water also cuts back on the cravings.
9. Be realistic
The holiday season isn’t realistically the best time to lose weight. Rather than try to lose weight, work on maintaining your current weight and setting up healthy eating habits.
10. Don't beat yourself up
The holidays are a time of togetherness. Let that be your main focus. If you overeat at one meal, don’t mope around and beat yourself up. Simply go lighter on the next meal and move on. It’s impossible to gain weight from one piece of pie – so understand that healthy eating is a process with ups and downs.
So what holiday clean-eating tip are you excited to try out? Be sure to like us on Facebook and let us know what your plan is for enjoying great food and maintaining healthy food habits!
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