This is the time of year for celebrations where we gather with friends and family to enjoy these annual feasts. It’s also a time of year that can bring with it challenges to sticking to our diets or even just eating healthy. These 7 healthy tips can help make these obstacles a little easier to navigate.
1. Come hungry, but not starving
It’s easy to think that it makes sense to skip breakfast and save those calories for the big meal. But experts suggest that by eating a small meal earlier gives us more control over our appetite. When we’re ravenous our willpower starts to disappear, and we are more likely to overeat. So, it is a good idea to have a light breakfast or small satisfying snack before the festivities.
2. Make good choices
Thanksgiving feast are filled with many traditional family favorites. Keep these ideas in mind:
- Make healthy choices when you can. If your gathering has a buffet line, take a moment to survey it first to decide what you’re going to choose.
- Keep your appetizers light.
- Keep starchy veggies to the size of an ice cream scoop.
- Make sure your plate is colorful and full of veggies.
- Try to resist temptation and skip seconds.
3. Eat slowly and savor the meal
Don’t rush through your meal, slow down and enjoy it. This will also help you to be more mindful of your fullness level and help to avoid overeating.
4. Make a few healthier dishes that you enjoy
Here are some ideas:
- Make desserts less crusty and more about the filling.
- Try roasted vegetables or a refreshing winter fruit salad.
- Use fat-free broth for dishes that need broth.
- Use sugar substitutes in place of sugar.
- Use fruit purees like apple sauce in place of oil in baked goods.
- Reduce oil and butter when you can.
- For recipes like dips or casseroles that call for sour cream try substituting plain yogurt or fat-free sour cream in its place.
5. Try not to drink your calorie
During holiday celebrations there are oftentimes alcohol and sugary beverages that make it too easy to add unwanted calories. If you’re trying to avoid excess calories, try to limit yourself to one or 2 glasses.
6. After the big meal, move around.
Get active. After your meal head outside for a nice walk around the neighborhood. You could also enjoy a game of touch football or throw a frisbee around. Being active will help to burn some calories and make you feel more energized.
7. Keep it realistic
The holidays are a time to celebrate with friends and family. Make sure you have the right mindset. Consider changing your mindset from weight loss to weight maintenance. If you can maintain your weight instead of gaining, that can be counted as a win.