Do you stress about the holidays? Am I going to pack on the pounds again that I worked so hard to get rid of? How can I feel good about eating this food after working so hard to get healthy? If this sounds like you, you are not alone.
I have compiled a small list of 5 useful tips to stay healthy through the holiday weekend. Obsessing about your thankful dinner is going to pack on those pounds! Several reactions within your body in times of stress can leave you with poor digestion and anxiety toward what should be an enjoyable time to give thanks.
1. CHOICE: Choose the healthiest options available. (whether you are entertaining or not) Enjoy this time to try some new, delicious recipes. (this will not be the first time as you make changes in your lifestyle) There are many options out there for great recipes, research them. Less fat, sugar and fast digesting carbs like potatoes and bread is important. Choose yams or sweet potatoes instead (lower GI) and fiber-filled veggies packed with nutrients. Turkey is good for you, it promotes relaxation and is a comforting food, enjoy it 🙂
2. MINDLESS EATING: Don’t eat while you are cooking or visiting. This can be challenging with the smorgasbord of food that may surround you but remember, mindless eating = extra pounds. If you do snack, choose healthy options like fresh fruit, veggies and healthy dips. If you are visiting friends and family, bring some healthy options, there is no shame in bringing yummy food to share with family and friends!
3. PORTION SIZE: Take only what you can eat. Not what your eyes tell you! The size of your palm is a decent measure for portion sizes. Remember, it takes approximately 20 mins or so for your body to produce the enzymes needed for digestion and for you to experience the “full” feeling. Enjoy your company while you eat and ENJOY YOUR FOOD, don’t inhale it. Use smaller plates for smaller portions, you can trick your mind into thinking you have filled a ‘big’ plate full of food.
4. TIMING: Timing is everything when it comes to proper digestion. As much as portion size, it is important to give your body a chance to recognize what you have eaten. Don’t mix all your food at once, you will be sure to experience gas, bloating and a feeling of exhaustion as your body tries to keep up. This may be the cause of why some people tend to get ill shortly after a holiday ‘binge’. Have a glass of wine or 2 with dinner or enjoy that beer or highball you crave, but drink plenty of water in between to re-hydrate your body. Enjoy your pumpkin pie, but wait at least a half hour to an hour after dinner, this way the body has time to re-establish it’s juices to digest it properly. And, yes save room for this cherished dessert so you are not over-stuffed!
5. BACK IN THE SADDLE: Next week jump right back into your healthy regime and lifestyle and DO NOT feel guilty about a weekend celebrated with loved ones accompanied by healthy, yummy food. After all what is life all about?
Remember friends, nutrition and lifestyle IS enjoying these moments, not feeling anxious, depressed and miserable. As these celebrations come and go, it’s important to remember how powerful our mind-body connection is. Choose to feel good about everything you do and give thanks and gratitude for all that we have 🙂