By Nadia Popova
I know eating healthy during holidays may seem overwhelming. There are a variety of easy ways to combat the problem of unhealthy eating during the holidays. Here are a few suggestions from me:
Shift your focus. Though many celebrations are undeniably centered around food, remember how important it is to spend quality time with loved one Instead of focusing on the menu, try to make a point of focusing on the people and the experience you’re there to share. When you make it less about the food you’re less likely to overindulge.
Think of your food allowance as a budget. If you’re not the one hosting and are at the mercy of whomever is serving you, think of your calories as nutritional ‘Budget’ a normal number of calories to eat during the event and if you want to indulge in a special dish or fancy dessert, make sure to allow for it by cutting out something else.
Eat and drink mindfully. Don’t allow yourself to snack through a stressful situation and when eating for pleasure, savor every bite and sip. When you’re consciously thinking about the tastes and textures of what you’re experiencing, you’ll enjoy it more, and chances are you won’t overeat.
Host with options. If you have the pleasure of hosting a holiday gathering, be sure to provide healthy options for yourself and your guests. If creating a platter of snacks, don’t forget to include plenty of fruits and vegetables and always have non-alcoholic options (and plenty of water) available to drink. If cooking and baking, look for creative ways to use healthy ingredients as substitutes without sacrificing flavor.
Add exercise to the calendar, just like you would schedule a holiday activity with your household, schedule time for exercise that you enjoy. Get outside for some fresh air, or stay warm inside.
Put on your dancing (or walking) shoes. Dancing is a great way to work off some holiday calories. If you are at a family gathering, suggest a walk before the feast or even between dinner and dessert.
Make room for veggies. At meals and parties, don’t ignore fruits and vegetables. They make great snacks and even better side or main dishes — unless they’re slathered with creamy sauces or butter.
Although food is an integral part of the holidays, put the focus on family and friends, laughter and cheer. If balance and moderation are your usual guides, it’s okay to indulge or overeat once in a while.
Best in Health,
Fitness Coach/Owner “Send Me a Trainer” Nadia Popova