9 Simple Tips for Healthy Holiday Eating
23.12.2016 / by Prajwala Darog
‘Tis the season to enjoy friends, family, endless laughter and delicious food. With so many holiday parties, there is a lot of food everywhere tempting you to indulge and… pack on a couple of pounds, even for those of us who are health conscious.
According to National Institute of Health, an average American tends to put on one or two pounds every year during the holidays. Although this may sound insignificant, it’s bound to accumulate over time and can increase the risk of diabetes, heart disease and other illnesses.
Here are 9 simple tips to eat healthy during the holidays:
- Sleep well: Start by getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep the previous night. Holidays can be a stressful time and it’s difficult to get a good night’s sleep when you are stressed. Sleep deprivation can lead to an increase in appetite as your body requires more fuel to power through the day. Turning off all electronics before bedtime, reading a book or meditating instead can help you get a good night’s sleep.
- Do not skip breakfast: People often skip breakfast or not eat all day in preparation for a holiday party. This will more likely result in binge-eating. Keep it light and nutritious instead by having a green smoothie or a bowl of oatmeal to start your day on a healthy note.
- Exercise: Exercise helps relieve the stress associated with the holidays. A good work out releases endorphins(the feel-good chemicals) in your body that help to combat stress.
- Have a light snack before the party: Going to a party on an empty stomach is not a good idea. Have a fruit or a protein-rich snack like a handful of mixed nuts, apple + peanut butter, greek yogurt or coconut-chia seed pudding to prevent yourself from over eating at the party.
- Quality over Quantity: Start with the healthy, good-for-you food like raw or roasted vegetables, high-quality protein, healthy fats and eat small quantities of the not-so-good-for-you food.
- Eat s-l-o-w-l-y: Become aware of what is there on your plate and enjoy it slowly, chewing and relishing every bite. This will prevent you from going for seconds and also allows you to have that dessert that you are looking forward to.
- Indulge mindfully: Want to have that cookie? Or your aunt’s famous pecan pie? Go for it! But be mindful of how much you are eating. Moderation is key here. Start off with a thin sliver of the pie and try not to go for seconds.
- Get some physical activity: Go for a long walk or dance to your favorite music, do anything that gets you moving to burn off some of those calories.
- Sip on some ginger tea: My most favorite thing to do after I come home from any party is to have a hot cup of ginger tea. Ginger aids digestion and prevents discomfort associated with over eating.
If someone you know is on their path to a healthy lifestyle, be sure to share this with them. Holidays are all about sharing and giving, after all.