The Holidays are coming up and we all know what that means. Busy schedules with lots of unhealthy meals with delicious, mouth watering food. I have been a firm believer that you SHOULD be able to go to any holiday dinner and enjoy all the goodies. But keep in mind there are some things you should keep in mind in order to stay on track with your health and fitness goals.
First off, have some control in your plan. Eat close to when you usually eat, offer to bring healthy dishes to parties, and if you know you will be having a sweet treat, cut back on some carbs earlier on in the day. You don’t want to skip meals to save up for the big meal but cutting back where you can is encouraged. What happens if you completely blow a meal? Don’t sweat it. Get back on track the next meal and have the confidence that you can keep working towards your health and fitness goals because you have the knowledge AND will power.
We all know the worst form of dinner…a buffet. All of the fatty, tasteful foods are just sitting there waiting for you to put them on your plate. This is where portion control comes into play. Have a small plate with small portions of food you enjoy and then walk away! Start with some veggies to take the edge off of your appetite and then eat the foods you really love. Eat slow, stop at 80% full, and take about a 10 minute breather before you consider going back up for seconds.
Often times people feel the need to remain strict during the holidays. This should not be the case. Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner only come around once a year. Fit in your favorite foods that only come around once a year because you’re going to have the next 363 days to work your butt off.
Next, make sure you stay active. The holidays can be filled with multiple dinners, work parties, drinks with friends, or get togethers for the children. There is a lot on your plate and making sure you schedule time for yourself to workout will make a big difference. It can help make up for eating more than usual and also reduce stress during this crazy time of year. Research shows that taking a brisk 10 minute walk following a meal is a good way to reduce blood sugar levels and aid in digestion.
Lastly, you should be making sure you are getting enough sleep. Staying out late at parties, dinner, or get togethers mean you have to cut back on your sleep. When you are sleep deprived you tend to want to eat more food, usually foods higher in fat and sugar. Make the goal 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night.
Being healthy and remaining consistent towards your goals is awesome. But don’t forget that this time of year is about celebrating and connecting with your loved ones.