Holiday Season is here and I promise you festivities don’t have to get cancelled even though it’s 2020. If you enjoy decorating, cooking, baking and listening to Christmas music, please don’t stop. When would these activities be more important if not this year? We might not be able to celebrate with our family and friends, but we can do small things that warm our hearts. Decorate your house, bake fragrant cakes, slow cook your food to fill your house with warming smells of nourishing foods, and don’t forget to sing along to your favorite holiday songs.
How should you indulge and enjoy the holidays without overeating, overdrinking and feeling guilty about it afterwards?
First and foremost, please remember these are special occasions, you don’t do this every day, so it’s OK to indulge a little. Moderation is the key to a happy, balanced everything. Really! Remember to check in with yourself from time to time and see how you are feeling. Emotional eating can become real if you feel lonely, anxious and sad. Overeating is almost inevitable if you are distracted or have a lot of food around you. Check in with yourself and if you feel full then stop.
The following tips can help you practice moderation:
1. Eat before festivities start. Don’t restrict food in the first part of the day knowing that you will eat at the party later. Eat a balanced breakfast and depending on the time of the party, eat lunch or a snack before showing up. This will prevent cravings and overeating.
2. Hydrate! Make sure that you drink enough water throughout the day. If you are dehydrated, you get inebriated faster and it will hurt more the next day. Sparkling water with lemon is an amazing drink that can substitute alcoholic beverages or can be consumed between alcoholic drinks.
3. Bring a salad or appetizer making sure there is always something healthy you can eat. Before diving in, check out all the food items to familiarize yourself with your options. A balanced meal has protein, healthy fats and fiber! Build a plate that is mostly vegetables, and add some protein and mashed potatoes…I know, how could we resist that?
4. Avoid all-day snacking! Eat 3 balanced meals a day to keep you full for 3-4 hours, reducing the craving for snacks. To avoid over-snacking, try to keep all your everyday snacks and sweets out of sight.
5. Don’t skip your workout! Movement promotes endorphin production which makes you happy and relaxed. Showing up to a party in a relaxed state can help with social anxiety and overeating/ drinking. Regular exercise boosts your metabolism, regulates blood sugar and helps us manage our weight even during the holidays.
6. Alcohol: stick to hard liquor or dry wine, and remember alcohol + sweet fruit juices, aka cocktails are an evil combo with a guaranteed evil headache the next day!
7. Dessert! I won’t tell you to eat fruit salad instead of your favorite pie, but I want to remind you to eat 1 slice instead of 3. Eat it slowly to enjoy and savor every bite. We want our favorite foods for the flavor and the emotions associated with that flavor anyway. If you like fruit salad, go for it. The point is not to eat more than one portion of dessert. One portion means 1 slice of pie/cake, 1-2 cookies or 1 cup of fruit.