Happy merry joyous Christmas eve! If you have indulged more than usual these past few weeks you are definitely in good company! But just because you may have gotten off track since Thanksgiving does not mean you should throw in the towel and go completely buck wild with sweets, treats and booze for the rest of 2018. In fact, finding a healthy balance NOW will help you enter 2019 feeling better equipped and more motivated to start working on your New Year’s health and wellness goals.
Below are tips that I share with my BellyBlissful nutrition coaching clients to help them create balance during this festive time of year.
Never arrive hungry. If you are attending a holiday party don't make the common mistake of "saving your calories" by not eating all day until the main event. This ALWAYS backfires. Instead, eat light but filling meals and have a high fiber snack about 30 minutes before arriving (for example a piece of fresh fruit and handful of nuts).
Savor specialties and skip the #basic filler foods. There are certain seasonal treats you may look forward to all year. The ones you associate with fond childhood memories-- like my grandma's famous meatballs for example. Enjoy every bite of those delicacies and skip the snack foods that miraculously appear when you walk through the door-you know the ones; crackers, chips, and high fat dips are a few common culprits.
Limit alcohol. One of the major pound packer-onners during holiday season is booze. People tend to be more social this time of year which can be fun but is often linked to drinking. So set a limit for yourself at the start of each week and stick to it! Alcohol is another source of empty calories AND often leads to unhealthy food choices too--double trouble!
Balance your plate. Fill about half of your plate with greens and veggies, 1/4th with lean protein like fish, chicken or turkey and then allow that last 1/4th of your plate to be for starches you enjoy (like roasted potatoes or pasta). The leafy greens will also fill you up so that you are not as inclined to go back for seconds--bonus!
Manage stress. This is no big news but stress is abundant during holiday season and it is also a common factor for overeating. Be sure to incorporate healthy outlets for your stress DAILY. Choose something that has worked well in the past whether that be journaling, meditation, yoga or long brisk walks.
Stay mindful. It is super easy to get sidetracked and lose sight of your wellness goals this time of year. Keeping a log is a great tool. Track your daily food intake, how much water you are drinking, workouts and whichever stress management technique(s) you choose. Staying aware of what you are doing and how consistently you are doing it can help you steer clear of self-destructive patterns and find a healthy balance. I use an interactive log with my clients that allows me to comment on their entries and provide some extra accountability too.