It’s that time of year again, y’all. Are you ready for some awesome holiday grub? I am! This is the first year, in many years, that I will not be with my family for the holidays. I always look forward to going home and spending time with my family. Unfortunately, this year I have to stay at my home and cook. However, I have a few things I would like to share with those who are going to be with their family for the holidays for staying healthy.
With the holidays arriving, most of us are trying to figure out how to stay on track. Funny enough, I tend to be more aware of what I’m eating during the holidays to prevent weight gain. So, I have a few tips that I wanted to share with you for staying healthy during the holidays.
- Eat Breakfast – By eating breakfast, you will avoid being ravenous come dinnertime. I know most people like to skip breakfast and save up for dinner but that leads to overeating at dinner. If you eat something lighter, but filling, during the day, you will cut the number of calories that you consume when the heavier or richer dishes are served.
- Appetizers Anyone? – Starting dinner with appetizers is a great way to cut calories. If you start with a soup or salad, it allows you to eat something that is full of fiber, making you feel satisfied and it cuts back on the need to pile your dinner plate. Much like eating breakfast, it forces you to think before fixing your plate. Your eyes won’t be bigger than your stomach. LOL!
- Don’t Skip Exercise – The holiday season isn’t the time to fall off of your exercise routine. If your area is like mine, holiday lights are up. Why not go for a stroll around the neighborhood to burn off some of those post-dinner calories.
- Space Out Courses – By spacing out the courses of your meal, it allows your brain time to catch up and realize that you are full. In between course, play a game that the whole family can join in. By the time, the game is done, and it’s time for dessert (for example) the hunger pains are gone, you will eat less of the sugary or cream-filled heavier items.
- Don’t Drink Your Calories – Holidays are full of delicious drinks and are the times for trying new beverage recipes. Go easy on the holiday beverages and try not to consume most of your calorie intake with drinks that have no nutritional benefit. I will be the first to admit, I love a good holiday cocktail, but I’ve started drinking lower-calorie drinks made with carbonated calorie-free water. I like the flavored waters that you can pick up from any grocery store. Add two ounces of your favorite non-flavored spirit, a splash of lime, and fill the rest of the glass with the carbonated water…super easy and delicious.
- Bake It, Don’t Buy It– While it is tempting to grab a dessert or side dish from the grocery store, I would suggest making your own. This allows you to control the ingredients that go into the dish. I love desserts and I tend to swap regular sugar for Splenda or other no calories sugar substitutes. This saves a ton of calories, and it doesn’t bother the people with diabetes in the family. By making items yourself, you can make minor ingredient swaps that will still have all of the flavors but not take a toll on your waistline.
The holidays are a great time to spend with family. Use the tips above for staying healthy and on track while enjoying the festivities. What tips do you have that would like to share?