It's that time of year again.... Holiday eating strategies!

It’s that time of year again… the Holiday Season This is a busy time of year that leaves you focusing on everyone and everything… except for yourself.

 

No one is perfect. We are all human and not robots. It would be crazy to expect to stay on autopilot through the holiday season and not even sneak one glass of eggnog. Cut yourself some slack…. This is the first and critical key to success over the holidays included in our holiday survival guide.

There are going to be parties, there are going to be delicious treats, there are going to be plenty of things that pull your away from your routine.  The holidays are a wonderful time of the year and not a time that you should be full of dread. A few strategies for the big challenges will help keep you on track. 

Challenge # 1: The holiday party

Rule number 1: Don't graze. With all the nuts, crackers and cheese, veggies and dip, mindless picking can easily add up to a meal's worth-or more-of calories. 

Strategy 1:  Plan to eat one of your three daily meals at the party. And when you do, inspect the offerings first before loading up your plate. Make your first trip for vegetables and salad.

Strategy 2: Eat a healthy meal before you go and then you can plan to have a small snack or dessert at the party.

Challenge #2: The changes in schedules create more opportunities to eat out

Rule #1:  Make a plan. If you don't think about dinner until dinnertime, chances are that you are to end up eating out or bringing takeout home.  Spoiler alert: the meals you get out have almost double the calories, sodium and fat than those you'd make at home. 

Strategy #1: Keep emergency meals on hand to whip up a quick dinner when holiday plans keep you out later than planned: canned beans and tuna, pasta, frozen veggies and shrimp are all good choices. 

Strategy #2: Plan for nights you know will be be off schedule, Instant pot or slow cooker meals are great options for these nights! 

Challenge #3: Staying out later than normal have you hitting the coffee shop for a mid afternoon pick-me-up.

Strategy #1: Before you order the coffee, do a quick check on the calorie and sugar count.  Try to shoot for an option that has less than 12 grams of sugar, you can ask for no or less pumps of syrup in any drink.

Strategy #2: Studies have shown that a 15 minute walk can be as effective for an afternoon pick-me-up as coffee, save some money and opt for a brisk walk instead.

Challenge #4: Hard-to-resist homemade holiday treats.

Strategy #1: The quickest way to fall completely off the wagon during the holidays is to avoid the guilty pleasures completely, so make room in your diet to eat them. Allow yourself one small treat per day-but when you do, practice mindful eating so that you get full enjoyment out of that treat.  Eat it slowly and savor it! 

Strategy #2: If you just have too much on hand and feel that the temptation to over-eat will be too much, share some with a friend or bring it to the office or a holiday function.




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