The holidays are here friends, and so are baked goods, sizzling dishes, and full plates. Delicious things are at every corner, and the temptation is on our backs like cold weather. How will we manage? Maintaining a healthy diet during the holidays is hard, yes, but not impossible. It’s more of a mental exercise than anything.
Start by Practicing Mindful Eating
Mindful eating is a fantastic way to approach diet in general, but even more useful for dodging holiday weight gain. Here are some keys to applying the logic.
Avoid Portion Distortion
Portion control is everything when it comes to enjoying the naughty foods that aren’t precisely on the diet-approved list. Categorize foods as you consume them to establish the accountability that awareness brings.
Although breaking down what you’re eating doesn’t make it any less enjoyable, it allows you to understand better what you’re putting into your body. Enjoy and savor each bite having an idea of their nutritional value to avoid overdoing it. Avoid the glittery distortion of viewing overeating as a celebration. Remember that holiday foods are still foods.
Be Strategic with Snacks
Snacks have a reputation for being the in-betweener of meals. While they are most often consumed between meals, remember that technically, they can have the caloric density of a full meal. That said, choose snacks that will keep you full and won’t have you reaching for more trying to satisfy the hunger.
Choosing snacks that aren’t made up of refined sugar, saturated fat, or other processed materials will help you make it to your next meals with ease. Go for whole and natural foods, when possible. Protein and fiber are your friends.
Up Your Water Game
It’s a chore, sure. But the more water you drink, the easier it gets, and you even start to crave it! Drinking enough water is essential for flushing toxins from your body. Staying hydrated will prevent you from eating when, in fact, you might be thirsty. If you struggle with drinking water, finding ways to remind yourself to drink, it can help, or you can take our advice on how to do it.
If the taste of water isn’t for you, there are options for making it more enjoyable.
Look for Healthy Replacements
Though this is a less traditional route, who says it can’t become a tradition? As the culinary arts have evolved to accommodate rising food preferences like anti-gluten, healthy recipe alternatives are abounding. Try replacing certain items with healthier alternatives that will still taste GR8 and have you feeling good and guilt-free.
Remember to Destress and Sleep
Stress is harmful to the diet and all kinds of things. Reducing stress and sleep go hand in hand. Stress releases the hormone cortisol, which can ultimately cause you to gain weight. It can physically cause you to store fat, as well as eat more.
Avoid holiday weight gain and stick to your diet by getting the rest you need. Keep stress at a minimum by working against it, naturally. Affirmations, breathing techniques, and even simply walking can help to reduce it.
Keeping these aspects in mind will make for a smooth transition in and out of the holidays. Remember, they are just days. Health is a lifetime.