Mouthwatering foods and desserts often come to mind when one thinks of the holiday season. It’s that time of year where heavy and downright decadent food gets served in massive quantities. While eating these dishes is a joy for the tastebuds, it can wreak havoc on the body. Often, the holidays result not only in weight gain but also poor sleep, a weakened immune system, dehydration, stomach and bowel issues, and more, all of which stem from poor habits. Today, we will give you four tricks to adopt for healthy eating practices during the holidays.
Trick #1: Serve Healthy Meals
While it is tempting to get swept up in preparing heavy holiday or comfort foods this time of year, it is vital to maintain a healthy eating regime for you and your family. You want to serve balanced meals with plenty of fruits and vegetables, as well as lots of antioxidant-rich ingredients.
The best way to do this is to meal plan in advance. Create a week-long meal plan with recipes and ingredients at the beginning of the week. We recommend having two vegetable-rich, light dinners for every holiday, comfort, or heavy meal. Plus, get your shopping out of the way early, so you don’t have to scramble to go to the store or throw something together last minute.
Trick #2: Practice Moderation
Moderation is key to avoiding weight gain during the holidays. We know how tempting it is to go back for second helpings or to try every dessert at a potluck, but the joy of eating so much only lasts an hour, whereas weight loss can take months.
The best way to practice moderation is to follow these tips:
- Eat slowly and savor each bite
- Drink plenty of water before, during, and after each meal
- Stop eating when you no longer feel hungry
- Before getting seconds, wait 20 minutes to allow your brain to catch up with your stomach
- Share desserts with others so as to avoid eating the whole thing
Trick #3: Keep Goodies Sealed Up
Speaking of desserts, everyone struggles to avoid picking up a goodie when they are sitting out and are easily accessible. You may not even realize that you pick up a cookie every time you walk by the counter until you’ve eaten six!
The easiest method to prevent this is to keep goodies sealed up. We recommend placing them in containers and pushing them to the back of the counter until it is time for them to be served.
Trick #4: Maintain Regular Exercise
Lastly, one of the most beneficial tricks you can perform during the holiday season is maintaining regular exercise. It is unlikely that you will be able to avoid all the delicious foods of the holidays, nor should you. By maintaining regular exercise, you can work off some of those goodies as well as improve your sleep, reduce stress, and help your body process all that fun food.
This is a beautiful time of year, and food brings people together. Now you can enjoy it!