Nothing says “happy holidays” quite like steaming mugs of eggnogs, plates of frosted cookies, bowls of mashed potatoes, and cheesy casseroles. It’s a great time of your for our taste buds, but it can wreak some havoc on your health. Infuse a little mindfulness into your holiday meals with the 5 tips below to feel fit all season long.
1. Don’t come hungry
No matter how grand the holiday feast waiting on the dinner table is, you have to eat the rest of the day, too. Maintaining a regular meal schedule the day of a holiday party will keep your blood sugar stable, so you don’t arrive to the party starving and overeat.
2. Contribute a dish
If you’re concerned that your host won’t be serving any lighter options, offer to bring your own healthy dish. Most hosts operate under the belief that “the more food the merrier,” plus other guests will appreciate the nutritious option.
3. Scan the buffet
Before taking on the buffet, take a stroll around the table and identify which foods you’d like to eat. Having a game plan before getting in line will help you avoid overfilling your plate and, as a result, your stomach.
4. Use your plate wisely
Your dinner plate can be your #1 tool for remaining mindful of your meals. Rather than picking at hors d’oeuvre and snacks, plate everything you eat and sit down to enjoy it, so you are aware of what you’re taking in. At dinner, fill half your plate with vegetables and the remaining two quarters with proteins and starch.
5. Drink for your health
If you’re watching your calorie intake, you have to look beyond your plate. A glass of eggnog can contain up to 500 calories, while wine, beer, and mixed drinks range from 150 to 225 calories. Pace your drinking by having a glass of still or sparkling water with a splash of fruit juice for flavor between cocktails.
6. Take 10
Before you go in for seconds, give yourself 10 minutes to digest. Push your plate away, have a glass of water, and make some conversation. If you’re still hungry after those 10 minutes, serve yourself a small second portion of vegetables.
7. Work the room
It can be hard to resist nibbling on hors d’oeuvres when they’re only an arm’s length away. Position yourself away from the food at parties, and divert your attention to other aspects of the festivities. If you become hungry, make yourself a reasonable plate of food and enjoy it away from the table.
8. Stay active
Not only is exercising a good way to work off holiday calories, but it can also serve as a reminder to eat well since you wouldn’t want to go for a run fueled by a heavy, greasy meal. You can get the whole family involved in the exercise by going for a walk between dinner and dessert.