We’ve all been there. With Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years coming up… it can be daunting to think about visiting family or attending holiday parties with friends. Our desire is to avoid undoing all of the progress we’ve made throughout the year is high. We’ve been working so hard for a months to lose weight and change our habits! So how do we navigate this time of year that promises endless calorie-dense foods, with little nutrition? There are many ways we can keep our eye on the prize, shift our focus, and bring our attention to what really matters. Check out these tips for getting through the holidays without a hitch!
10 Tips for Staying On the Wagon Through the Holidays
- Offer to bring a healthy dish
– Potlucks are very popular for holiday parties. Make it your goal to ensure that there is SOMETHING healthy for everyone to enjoy! Whether it be a veggie or fruit tray, or a healthy holiday recipe (Healthy Stuffing anyone?) you can make it your mission to provide nutrition at your next friend or family gathering.
- Carry water with you at all times
– Very often, we forget to stay hydrated through the holidays. Whether it’s the cold weather that eliminates the cue to drink water, or we’re on-the-go with holiday errands and simply forget… making it a priority to carry a water bottle with us will at least provide the visual cue to drink up. Many people mistake thirst for hunger, so staying quenched will eliminate that risk.
- Don’t hang out next to the food table
– Think about it. Where do the majority of guests convene at the party? Be a trend-setter, and bring your group of party-goers to the couch or the fire pit. Taking the lead by bringing the community elsewhere not only saves you from mindlessly picking at the food, but it also allows other guests to do the same. Which brings us to our next tip!
- Focus on spending quality time with those family and friends, instead of overindulging in treats and food
– You may say or think that you go to the party for the explicit purpose of indulging in the treats, but truly, it’s a time for communion between friends. Make it a priority to strike up conversation, catch up on the lives of the people you love and make those the connections the star of the show! You’ll be enjoying yourselves so much that the unhealthy treats will become an afterthought.
- Get your sweat on
– If you go out of town to visit family or friends, bring your workout clothes with you! Traveling oftentimes leaves plenty of extra time to go for a run or hit up a local gym in the area, so long as you remember to bring the correct clothing. Working out while away can be a fun and exciting way to not only meet new people, but stay active while away and challenge yourself with new workouts! You may even inspire those you’re with to join you!
- Load up on your non-starchy veggies
– Whether it’s the veggie plate or the green bean casserole, prioritize getting those on your plate! These non-starchy veggies take up some serious space in your stomach, bringing a feeling of fullness and satisfaction. This will help keep the cravings at bay after dinner!
- Don’t skip meals, or go to gatherings hungry. (Eat a balanced snack before!)
– When you’re hungry, you’re subject to poor judgement. Do yourself a favor and eat something good before you head out… that way you’re less tempted to indulge! This will assist you with the previous tips as well.
- Slow down when eating… remember that your brain is 15 minutes behind your belly!
– Try putting small portions on your plate. Set your fork down between bites. Take the time to chew your food fully and converse with your friends. When you slow down the eating process, you’re able to be more in tune with your body and notice the hunger or satiety cues that it is sending you. This will give you more personal authority over your choices and help you be more in control.
- Eat your vegetables first, followed by protein, and save the starches for the end.
– This is classic plate method wisdom! Prioritize getting your vegetables in first, make sure you’re eating adequate protein, and save the starches for last. This helps you keep your intake balanced, and again, keeps you fuller for longer.
- Set realistic goals and ENJOY the season!
– Be wise when determining how you want the event to pan out. Don’t set the goal of eating nothing bad when your Great Aunt is making her famous buckeyes for the last time. (Life is about LIVING!) Just be mindful, and set yourself up for success so you don’t wake up hours later from an unintended sugar-induced coma.
Follow these tips to keep yourself ON the wagon throughout the holiday season! You have the power to be in control and stay mindful, no matter where you are. Set yourself up for success… we’re rooting for you!
Anna, Rhino Nutritionist