Just a friendly reminder that there’s a reason we call it a holi“DAY.”
Food around this time of year is plentiful, and it’s extra delicious, too. Sure, there may be roasted Brussels sprouts at the Thanksgiving meal, but there’s also all manner of gooey, greasy, buttery, sugary, salty, fatty stuff that is on, shall we say, the less nutritious side.
If it were limited to just one meal, we wouldn’t hear horror stories about holiday weight gain. Turns out that not only do we eat these foods at the big Thanksgiving meal and on Christmas day, we have pre- and post-parties, we pick on indulgent foods hours before and after the big meals, and then we have days of leftovers. Then there are the host/hostess gifts of the boozy, bready chocolatey sort. And before we’ve even cleared out the Thanksgiving leftovers, here come the holiday cookies, candy, truffles and more. So how the heck are we supposed to make it through the holidays without packing on the LBs, and—oh, yeah—also enjoying ourselves?
1. Fill one plate at special meals. Sure there are lots of delicious foods to be had, but do you really need three platefuls? Make one trip to the buffet without your plate (or take a solid pass at everything on the table without serving yourself just yet). Decide what you really want among all the offerings and only then fill up one plate. Enjoy whatever you like—it’s the holiday, and this is food for celebration! Just make it one plate’s worth. Any other day that would satisfy you, so why not today?
2. Eat your special meals sloooooowly. We get so caught up in the moment, sometimes we forget to savor. Put your fork down between each bite and don’t pick it up again until you’ve completely chewed and swallowed each bite. That gives you A. the opportunity really taste what you’re enjoying and B. a chance for your body to send a signal to your brain that it’s full.
3. Snack consciously. It’s easy to pick and nibble at food while we’re cooking, while the serving dish is in front of our plate, even while we’re clearing food and putting it away in the fridge. Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, there will be all sorts of sweet and savory treats everywhere from the office kitchen to the impulse purchase section in line at the grocery store check out. Make a conscious effort not to pick steadily at snacks, especially when you’ve already eaten well.
4. Be a food snob. There’s a big difference between a rich homemade pumpkin pie baked with love by mom and a cheap pie made on a conveyor belt and picked up on special for $4.99. Make a conscious effort to only eat those foods that are excellent quality or that you really love. Skip the rest.
5. Remember that the holidays aren’t all about food. Sure, there are lots of delicious foods around at the holidays, but this time is really about family and friends. It’s about expressing gratitude for all that we have. Food brings back and creates memories, but don’t let it be your sole focus.
And if you blow it and really over-do it one day? Get over it. One day of over-eating doesn’t mean you’re doomed to put on 20 pounds. Get back on track with the next healthy meal or snack. Have a wonderful holiday!
If you need help staying on track in achieving your wellness goals this holiday or anytime, let's talk! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or message me on Facebook.