The holidays can be a smorgasbord of amazing meals and treats. It can be tempting to overindulge at the holidays, but if you are watching your figure the holidays are a minefield of “no-nos” to avoid. Take heart though you can enjoy the merry food season, but watch what you eat at the same time with a few practical tips. Let’s look at smarter choices you can make during the holiday festivities that won’t impact your waistline as much going into the New Year. Here are a some helpful “don’ts” and what to focus on instead that will let you maintain your weight throughout the long holiday season.
Don’t Worry About One Or Two Major Days
Focus On: The Rest Of December
On the actual holiday days of Christmas and Christmas Eve, don’t overly stress about calories. It’s just two days after all and you can’t really do that much damage to your body food-wise in just 48 hours. Let those be the days that you have a little extra treat-wise, without getting down on yourself too much. Have an extra bite of fudge or that cranberry-orange bread your grandmother makes each year without guilt.
Those are special days spent with friends and family, and being overly critical of everything you put in your mouth is truly a downer. Instead, focus on being into making healthy substitutions for all those other festive gatherings that aren’t on the actual holiday date.
Don’t Go To Holiday Parties Starving
Focus On: A Light Snack Before
If you go to a holiday party starving, you are more likely to attack the buffet of appetizers or overeat an actual meal. If you have a light snack before that’s filled with fiber and protein, like raw almonds, hummus and pretzels, or Greek Yogurt with fruit, you are much more likely to stick to your healthy eating plan at a party. You won’t be tempted to eat half a tray of bacon wrapped scallops with cream cheese.
Don’t Drink Empty Calories
Focus On: Low-Cal Drinks
The drinks with alcohol that you can consume at parties like eggnog, Irish coffee, and rum toddies are calorie bombshells to have at each party. Those rich calories add up fast. Even alcohol itself, like wine and beer, have extra calories that you don’t overly want to introduce into your nutrition plan.
Instead, you should focus on sparkling water with a splash of citrus, hot herbal tea, or even just good old-fashioned black coffee. This is especially helpful if you are indulging in extra food calories to keep the calories you are drinking to a minimum as a trade-off.
Don’t Forget To Exercise
Focus On: 30 Minutes Of Activity Five Days Per Week
The holiday season isn’t the time to let up on your fitness goals. You may be tempted to slack off on exercise, but try to keep to at least 30 minutes of physical activity, five days per week going strong. This will help to temper a little bit of that holiday eating if you are keeping active enough to burn off some of those calories. Try to find fun activities that you enjoy and do often. Even a cool winter activity like ice skating counts in your workout plan.
Above all having a great time during the holiday season with friends and family is what's truly important. Being crazed about your nutrition shouldn't be your focus. You can always make those hard-core New Year's resolutions to start a healthy eating plan in January.