The holidays are upon us, and now begins the season of fun, family, festivity, and feasting. It’s that last one that can get you into trouble. The average weight gain during the holiday season is between one and five pounds, and of course, losing weight tops many New Year’s resolution lists. Fortunately, you can maintain healthy eating habits and still enjoy the holidays. By following a few simple tips, you can have a holiday season free of dietary regrets.
• Focus on the other “f’s”. When planning holiday events, take the focus off of food, and put it on fun with family and friends. There’s plenty to do this time of year, from tree lots, pumpkin patches, hayrides, and festivals, to taking in the lights and sights. The brisk weather is perfect for outdoor fun, whether you’re watching the leaves change color, or building a snowman. Make activity the center of your gathering, and you’ll find it easier to maintain healthy eating habits.
• Lighten up your holiday favorites. There are books in every bookstore, and sites across the net, dedicated to making comfort foods healthier. Try Cooking Light or the Food Network for some great suggestions.
• Eat before the party. A well-kept secret of successful dieters is to fill up on healthy foods before the richer fare tempts you. By eating something fresh and healthy before you go to a get-together, you’ll strengthen your resolve and be less likely to cave when faced with less nutritious options.
• Don’t be afraid of occasional indulgence. Your grandmother’s famous pie may be one of your favorite parts of the holiday season, and that’s ok. The rich foods of the season can evoke powerful childhood memories, and those memories are some of the loveliest things about this time of year. As long as your core diet is focused on real food and healthy portions, it’s fine to give in to your comfort foods once in a while.
• Make real food your focus. Some of this season’s favorite foods are surprisingly good for you. Lean cuts of turkey are full of protein, sweet potatoes and pumpkin are packed with antioxidants, and winter citrus is loaded with vitamin C. If you can steer clear of empty, over-processed calories and adjust your mindset to make fruits, vegetables, lean meats, whole grains, and nuts your holiday fare, you’ll come through the season in good health.
• A healthy diet is an important factor in building a healthy lifestyle and achieving your optimal wellness. That’s why at our clinic we offer nutrition counseling as part of our holistic approach to health care. For more information on how we can help you live your best life, visit our website or call today for your free consultation.