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15 simple tips for eating a healthy holiday (without skipping dessert)


Go ahead, eat that piece of cake. Just make healthy choices when it comes to most of your meals.

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Do you feel that you are arriving every holiday season? If so, you are not alone. Research shows that adults tend to arrive between mid-November and mid-January, even those who are actively trying to lose or maintain their weight.

Many people develop an all-or-nothing mentality when the holidays roll by and tell themselves that they will just jump back on the healthy eating train when the new year is over. On the other hand, some people spend the holidays in fear of food, and say no thanks to any offer for filling or dessert.

Good news: you do not have to fit into one of these categories, because it is quite possible to stick to your healthy eating plan while fully enjoying the food and festivities that make the holiday so enjoyable. Here's how.

1. Bring your own meal to the party

There is no better way to share your healthy intentions with friends and family than by making them a nutritious meal. Nowadays you can find all kinds of healthy recipes online that meet every diet you can imagine. For example, try these paleo Instant Pot recipes or these Whole30-compatible dishes .

Oh, and if you want to save some money on the healthy ingredients you need, you can navigate through Whole Foods (and other supermarkets) for the best deals as follows.

2. Practicing with careful eating

Eating while being distracted can have a major impact on your weight and overall health. That doesn't mean that you have to eat alone and in silence all the time (because, boring), but you have to make a point of watching your food.

Appreciate the smells, tastes and textures during the meal, as well as the environment you are in and the people you are with. You may find that mindfulness helps you eat less.

3. Beware of worktops and office gardens in the office

If there are two hotspots for holiday treats, kitchen tables and offices in the office take the cake – literally. It's so easy to grab a handful of goodies while you walk, but resist the urge. You will enjoy eating more if you actually sit down to eat a meal instead of kicking mouthful, anyway.

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During the holidays, treats are easily available and easy to wipe off kitchen tops. Resist the urge to grab one along the way and instead enjoy it during or after a meal.

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4. Don't skimp on sleep

Have you ever noticed how you crave sugary or salty foods when you're exhausted? That is not only in your head: lack of sleep can seriously change your appetite. Research shows that poor sleep is associated with increased food intake and an increased risk of weight gain, so make sure you get enough Z & # 39; s at night.

5. Keep stress under control

During the holidays, all our normal tasks and responsibilities are exacerbated by holiday shopping, extra cooking, taking care of children who do not go to school, receiving guests and attending functions. If it all feels too much, it probably is. Try to free up some time for yourself and decompress – high stress is linked to overeating, especially from hyper-digestible foods that often contain a lot of fat and sugar.

6. Tackle the protein

Of all macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates and fat), protein is the most satiating. Studies suggest that eating a lot of protein can reduce your appetite and help with both weight loss and weight retention – so don't feel bad about going back on the turkey for seconds.

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Stuffing turkey and vegetables is never a bad idea – protein and fiber help you stay full.

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7. Filling with fibers

Fiber helps to keep your digestion regular and helps you, just like proteins, to sustain you. Fiber-rich foods often provide fewer calories with more volume, which means that you can be satisfied with fewer calories. For example, a cup (about 100 grams) of broccoli contains only 31 calories and offers 2.4 grams of fiber. Fiber-like foods such as vegetables and whole grains also contain vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to keep you healthy.

8. Don't go hungry to the supermarket

If you go hungry to the store, this can cause you to do a real version of the shopping cart dance: wipe anything and everything off the shelves as you walk by. This is extra risky during the holidays, when the aisles are chock full of cookies, cakes, sweets and other delicacies.

Do your best to eat a snack or meal before you go shopping, so you don't end up with a cart full of mints and snickerdoodles – you save money and calories.

9. Also do not cook while you are hungry

A taste test or two can turn a good meal into a fantastic meal. However, if you are hungry, a few taste tests can easily extend to what would form a full meal. Fight temptations to eat the meal you cook early by taking a snack before you shop in the kitchen. Bonus points if it contains fibers, proteins or healthy fats that keep you full.

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Taste testing of your holiday meals is all good until you have eaten enough to form a whole meal. Try to avoid cooking on an empty stomach so that you can save space for the real thing.

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10. Limit liquid calories.

During the holidays, it seems that every weekend (and many week nights) are planned with meetings, from friend invitations to work parties to family functions. All of these events usually relate to alcohol and I am not talking about skinny margaritas.

No, it is all eggnog and pointed hot chocolate and martini with pecan pie. Although one or two will not make or break your diet, try making simple drinks, a low-calorie mixer, and berries or citrus fruits. For example, vodka and sparkling water with broken raspberries and blackberries provide a refreshing, low-calorie (and beautiful!) Drink.

11. Stay hydrated

Sometimes your body sends signals from your brain hunger when you are actually just thirsty. There is no one-size-fits-all number for water intake, but a good approach is to drink at least one or two grams of water every one to two hours, and more if you train. Staying hydrated can ward off false signals of hunger and prevent you from eating food that you don't really want or need.

12. Don't let others influence you

If you often find yourself avoiding comments like "That's all you're going to eat?" or "Really no dessert?", tell friends and family when enough is enough. No one should be ashamed of their dietary preferences, whether they eat healthily or not. Don't let others condemn you – stay with your guns and eat the way you want.

13. Everything in moderation

Even if you are on a diet, leave yourself some room for pampering if you want. After all, it's the holiday and it's not every day that your grandmother eats homemade pumpkin pie. You should not feel guilty about enjoying the food you love while you spend time with people you love. In addition, restricting yourself to certain foods can cause you to want those foods more and ultimately eat too much.

14. Use smaller dishes

You can tempt yourself to eat less by using smaller plates and bowls. People tend to fill their plates regardless of size, so you can eventually pack a larger plate with much more food than you need. This trick also works if you like to go back seconds – if your first plate was small, going back for seconds will not necessarily derail your healthy intentions.

15. Plan ahead

If you are really serious about your healthy routine during the holidays, plan ahead for events. For example, if you go to a sit-down dinner in a restaurant, look up the menu online in advance. This gives you the chance to spend time viewing ingredients and nutritional facts, rather than choosing a meal under pressure in the restaurant.

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a doctor or other qualified health care professional for any questions you may have about a medical condition or health goals.

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