Are you tired of spending the holidays worrying about gaining weight from rich food rather than taking the time to enjoy family traditions and make long-lasting memories? The holidays can definitely be a challenging time of year for those watching what they eat. Routines and schedules are inconsistent. If you're an athlete, you may have a break from your activity, and there always seems to be irresistible food (that's also not too healthy for you) around.
Sometimes my athletes will say, "I'll just worry about eating healthy after the holidays," but I always like to encourage people to eat well regardless of the time of year. Many people try to kick off their diet on Jan. 1, but quickly transitioning into healthy eating after the holidays is a New Year's resolution many fail. Here are some tips for eating healthy during the holidays.
Have a plan
Having a plan for your day or week can provide the structure you need to avoid mindless munching. Everything from activities to meal prep and timing can be helpful to organize these things ahead of time.
Don't Skip Meals
Meal planning does not mean skimping or restricting during the day to "save up" for a bigger meal at night. Skipping meals only slows your metabolism, causing you to crave certain foods or eat more than you would have at the holiday meal. Make sure to plan meals and snacks as you normally would.
RELATED: Smart Holiday Beverage Choices
Practice Self-Care Every day
Even if you just have 10 minutes, try to do something for yourself. Lack of self-care can lead to increased stress, which can lead to stress-induced or emotional eating. Schedule breaks and make sure to get adequate sleep.
This is not the time (nor is it ever time) to Google low-fat desserts or avoid family meals and events. Enjoy real foods in the right portions.
Balance Your Plate
Along the same lines, make plates at holiday events like you would at home. If there is a vegetable, start with that, then choose your favorite protein and carbohydrate options. Instead of grazing, make a plate and sit down to enjoy it.