It’s the most wonderful time of the year….. because of all the FOOD! Don’t get me wrong, I love the trees, the lights, the songs, but let’s be honest, the food surrounding the season has got to be the best part. Food is the centerpiece for every holiday get together second only to the booze (which I am also a HUGE fan of). While all of this holiday eating does bring me a great deal of joy it isn’t quite as nice to my waistline. There are a few do’s and don’ts that I at least attempt to stick to around this time of the year that helps me to indulge in the deliciousness of the holidays while not completely sabotaging my fitness goals.
Holiday Eating Do’s and Don’ts
Do: Get Moving!
If you are going to an event and know that there will be temptation to eat unhealthily then getting in a workout can help to offset the extra calories.
Don’t: Use a Workout as an excuse to eat whatever you want.
Just because you had a workout doesn’t mean you can go nuts and eat anything and everything. If running is your go to workout, remember that running one mile burns around 100 calories (give or take) and many sweet treats at the holidays have significantly more.
Do: Cheat Occasionally.
Completely boycotting all holiday goodies is just unrealistic and plain no fun. I like to pick out my favorite treat and let myself indulge in that specific thing at eat holiday get together. The rest of the dinner I try to stick to the healthier options that are available.
Don’t: “Cheat Occasionally” All Day Long
Remember that little bites add up quick when it comes to calories. If you keep “cheating a little” over and over again then you’re back to square one.
Do: Load up on fruits and veggies.
My rule when I go to a party is to fill the majority of my plate with veggies and fruits. The rest can be some type of protein. I generally avoid bready things (read: stuffing/dressing, or rolls).
Don’t: Think mashed potatoes count as a vegetable.
My husband insists that mashed potatoes are vegetables and therefore are fine to eat as many as you want. FALSE. Also be careful of things such as green bean casserole. While it does contain the veggies the toppings are fairly high calorie so limit the amount you eat.
Do: Control Your Environment
Everything that comes into your home can become a temptation. If I buy those Christmas Tree snack cakes I will have them gone that day. It’s like they call my name. I let myself buy one box for the season and I savor those (and I will cut anyone who tries to eat one of mine). Be aware of what you bring into your house and avoid temptation before you have cookies calling to you at midnight.
Don’t: Miss out on all the holiday fun.
You can still make holiday treats and accept gifts of food. Just keep a little for your household and give the rest away to family and friends (trust me this makes you super popular).
Do: Eat before you go.
I like to eat some veggies or fruit before I go to a party so I’m not starving once I get there. It’s 1000 times easier to say no to temptation when you aren’t wanting to eat everything in sight.
Don’t: Eat so much that you are stuffed before you get to the party.
More than likely there will be food at any party you go to and completely avoiding all food just isn’t the norm. Whenever you eat before you go to the party be sure you leave enough room to still eat at the party so you don’t end up over eating.
Do: Bring a healthy option.
I like to always bring a healthy dessert or entree so I know for certain there is an option for me.
Don’t: Feel like you can only eat what you bring. Variety is the spice of life and if I only ate chicken and broccoli all day every day I would go nuts.
Remember at the end of the day the holiday eating season is a short time of every year and a couple cookies wont completely kill all of your progress. Take each day as it comes and strive to do your best but let yourself have fun too.
(Eat a Christmas Tree Cake for me!)
Don’t miss my recipe for Healthy Broccoli Salad it would be an awesome appetizer to take to a holiday party!