How to stay healthy during the holidays even while indulging in holiday foods.
What’s your biggest downfall at a holiday party? The cheesy artichoke dip, the baked brie, or the 12 different types of cookies made just for the season? For me it’s the sweets – especially when they are homemade – I feel like I need to try one of each!
Hey – I’m all for indulging – especially on good food and wine! But the million dollar question is this: How can I indulge without gaining weight or getting completely off-track from my healthy lifestyle?
It can be very easy to get off track if you don’t give it some thought ahead of time and come up with a strategy. Here are a few things I do to be mindful about holiday indulgences and get though the season feeling healthy instead of lousy.
When you’ve got a party on the calendar, do your best to eat extra healthy during the day, to offset the extra calories you might be eating later. But don’t starve yourself! Eat something healthy and filling (think avocado toast, nut butter & banana) before you head to the party, to make sure you don’t gobble up everything in sight!
If you work in an office, bring healthy snacks to work to keep you from overindulging in those big tubs of caramel corn (you know what I’m talking about!) and other tempting break room treats.
So back to those holiday cookies….you probably shouldn’t try all 12….even if your best friends made them and you’ll feel guilty not sampling one of each. Choose a few to try that night and take a couple home for later if you need to.
When faced with a holiday buffet, keep the 80/20 rule in mind. Fill up your plate with the healthiest options you see and don’t leave much room for the fattening stuff. Then choose 2 or 3 indulgent foods that you just have to try – for me it’s anything creamy and cheesy! Notice if you are full when you are done and only go back for more if you are truly still hungry.
Remember, if you’re drinking wine or other alcoholic beverages, alternate with a glass of water to slow you down and keep you well hydrated.
Don’t let a busy holiday schedule be an excuse to give up your exercise routine. Keep it up and even bump it up a notch if you can. Ultimately, exercise will give you more energy and a boost of endorphin to have fun at your holiday parties.
When you have a plan in place, there’s no reason to feel guilty about enjoying a few holiday treats! Because I don’t eat a lot of sweets regularly, I make it a point to really enjoy them when I do – so bring on those holiday cookies!
What’s your favorite indulgent holiday food?