The next couple of weeks will be filled with festivities that will more than likely revolve around food. You can indulge a little and enjoy the holidays without all of the regrets on January 2.
Follow these tips to make better food choices and help you stay on track while still enjoying some of your favorite holiday foods.
Don’t skip breakfast.
Vacation days often mean sleeping late and getting off your regular schedule, but don’t be tempted to skip breakfast too. Start the day with a hearty breakfast of protein and healthy carbs, such as egg whites and whole-wheat toast. If you skip the first meal of the day, you’ll be more likely to overeat the rest of the day. A good breakfast can help you stay on track.
Eat small meals every two to three hours.
Grazing and eating smaller meals throughout the day can help curb hunger, keep your blood sugar levels steady, and give you energy. This way, you’ll be less likely to overindulge at that holiday buffet table. Arriving at the party with a satisfied stomach will keep you from overeating.
Make sure you’re drinking a lot of water or other low-calorie drinks, especially if you’re drinking alcoholic beverages. Staying adequately hydrated will also reduce cravings and help ward off hunger.
Lighten the cocktails.
Choosing a wine spritzer is a good way to still enjoy a drink at the holiday party while keeping the calories and alcohol content low. Other good choices are light beer or a cocktail made with half a shot and a low-calorie or zero-calorie mixer.
Make that mixed drink last the whole night by taking small sips. It’ll cut down on calories, keep you clear-headed, and you won’t wake up the next day with a hangover.
Make a game plan.
Holiday buffet tables are packed full of tempting, rich, and heavy foods. Before you grab a plate, cruise the food before digging in. Look through what foods are being offered, and choose only the foods you really want before piling your plate too high. Choose a small plate so you’re not tempted to overeat.
Eat your veggies.
Fill your plate with crunchy veggies like carrot sticks and broccoli with a small amount of dip. They will fill you up so you’re less likely to overeat, and will provide some good nutrition to boot!
When it comes to proteins, choose lean cuts of meat: turkey (no skin), fish, or pork are good choices. Fill your plate with more protein and fewer carbs that will fill you up and give you more energy.
Indulge a little.
You can enjoy your favorite holiday fare that you don’t get any other time of year—foods such as pumpkin pie or sausage balls. Eat those special foods in small amounts, but skip other foods that you can eat any other time of the year, like bread or mashed potatoes.
When you’ve made your choices at the buffet table, move away. You’ll be less tempted to keep refilling that plate.
That dessert table is probably the most tempting thing this time of year. You can sample all of the desserts you want by just taking one bite of each dessert you’re craving. This way you won’t feel deprived.
Bring your own.
Make a low-calorie, delicious dish to bring and share. That way, you know you’ll have something healthy to eat, and you can fill up on that while taking small amounts of other foods.
Remember the reason for the season.
Although food is central to our holiday gatherings, put your focus on family, friends, and holiday cheer.