8 Tips to Help You Navigate Holiday Eating
Perhaps one of the greatest challenges in life is trying to stick to a healthy eating routine during the holidays. With Thanksgiving and Christmas festivities centered around the table and good food, it’s easy to overindulge throughout the season. Yet, it’s still possible to enjoy the delicious spoils of this wonderful time of year without going overboard—however, it will require a bit of inner strength and clever choices along the way. Let’s explore a few tips for how you can enjoy a few of your favorite treats without ruining your healthy eating during the holidays.
#1 — Don’t skip meals earlier in the day.
Often, people try to skip meals earlier in the day on Thanksgiving or Christmas to “make room” for extra calories later on. Unfortunately, this strategy will only intensify your unhealthy cravings at the dinner table and often lead to overeating, as you’ve been starving all day waiting for food. Instead, focus on eating a healthy and satisfying breakfast, like this antioxidant berry blast smoothie, that will nourish and energize your body, so you don’t feel the need to overeat during your holiday festivities.
#2 — Go for the greens.
One simple way you can eat well and still stick to your diet during holiday dinners is to fill your plate with all the delicious veggies on the table first. This will help you satisfy your hunger and fill up on healthier options, leaving less room for you to indulge in starches and carbs. As you’re making your plate, try to reach for dishes like green beans or sweet potatoes. A good rule of thumb to keep in mind while filling your plate is to cover half of it with non-starchy vegetables before adding the rest of your fixings.
#3 — Only reach for your absolute favorites.
As your eyes grow wide staring at the holiday dinner spread, you might find yourself reaching for a little bit of everything. But not everything on the table is something you truly enjoy—you really only eat it because it’s sitting right in front of you. So, to stop yourself from overeating, only go for the foods you truly enjoy and leave the rest for someone else to eat. Don’t mindlessly fill your plate with every option on the table simply because it’s there.
#4 — Skip the Drinks and Hydrate
According to the 9Round Nutrition Guide within your Member Portal, “alcohol consumption can stand in the way of your nutrition and exercise goals by adding excess calories, weakening the immune system, interfering with quality sleep, and causing dehydration.” Therefore, skipping the alcoholic drinks altogether is best when it comes to maintaining a healthy diet; however, if you wish to enjoy a few drinks during the holidays, you should limit your number of drinks to only one or two each day.
Also, make sure you’re staying hydrated with water throughout your festivities to help aid your digestion and prevent dehydration, especially if you are drinking alcoholic beverages. Additionally, you can try to avoid sugary drinks like soda or sweet tea to help reduce the number of excess calories you consume during the meal.
#5 — Encourage the family to take a walk.
Walking after a big meal is a great way to get in some physical activity as a family during the holidays—it can also help aid your digestion and may even help stabilize blood sugar levels after eating. A brisk 20-minute walk should do the trick and will be beneficial to the whole family, so make it a new tradition to take a walk around the neighborhood after eating to encourage everyone to get involved.
#6 — When in doubt, make it yourself!
You can help alleviate some stress from the host and ensure you have healthier options by cooking and brining your own holiday dishes to eat. Making your own side dishes to go along with the main course is a great way to control what goes into your food, so you know it’s not riddled with excess fat, sugar, or sodium. It also is a nice gesture to help fill the table, so whoever is hosting will have less to worry about the day of the event. It’s a win-win for everyone at the table.
#7 — Have a Mindful Dessert
It’s hard to resist the decadent desserts that fill the table at holiday events, and while skipping them altogether is the best option for your healthy diet, we understand it’s just not always possible. So, instead of mindlessly eating all the treats you love during the season, practice mindfully eating dessert at the dinner table.
Slowing down and savoring each bite can help you feel more satisfied after just one slice, so you don’t go back for seconds. You can also try getting a sampler of each dessert if you want to try multiple things rather than a full serving of each dish. Maybe your spouse or your family members would also split something with you to help you eat smaller portions and save calories. It’s all about enjoying what you love in moderation.
#8 — Be Kind to Yourself
It’s inevitable that you’ll make mistakes when it comes to eating healthy during the holidays, but remember, there’s always tomorrow! When you mess up an overindulge at one dinner party, you can reign it in and control your cravings better during the next. Don’t be too hard on yourself and remember that the holidays are meant to be happy and joyful. Enjoy yourself, and just get back on track with your regular routine whenever you fall of course, and all will be okay!
9Round is the simple solution for managing holiday stress and extra calories this year. Find out more about our KILLER workouts and 9Round nutrition when you sign up for a free introductory session at your local studio.