The holidays are right around the corner, and it’s the perfect time to sabotage your healthy eating habits and gain weight. During this season you are more likely to ignore your weight loss goals and over-indulge in every way possible.
It’s not hard to understand why this happens. Let's see Thanksgiving first; the day that brings loads of unhealthy temptations like pies, cakes, and cranberry stuffing. Next, Christmas parties, which are jammed packed with sweets. Let’s not forget New Year’s Eve festivities, where excessive alcohol drinking is the norm. Oh, and to make matters worse, the holiday stress that pushes you to the point of raiding the junk food cabinet.
How will you ever stay on track of your healthy eating habits during the holiday season? First, relax, if you mess up, it is not the end of the world. Just pick yourself up and move forward. Next, try these tips to help you stay on track with your healthy eating habits and hopefully, end up eating great most of the time and gain zero weight.
• For holiday events, surprise your host with a healthier meal. Bring a healthy salad, a vegetable dish or a healthy dessert. Your healthy recipe will guarantee there is at least one healthy meal for you to eat.
• Eat before you drink alcohol. One of the best ways to save yourself from overindulging on junk foods is to eat before you drink. Drink a green smoothie, eat an avocado salad or have vegetable chicken soup. Eating before you party will keep your sugar levels balanced and therefore you will crave fewer junk foods.
• When serving yourself a plate of holiday food, crowd out the bad with the good. Load your plate with lots of healthy foods, and therefore, you will naturally crowd out the bad foods.
• Eat slowly. It takes time for your body to tell your brain that you are satiated. Experts have stated that it can take as long as 20 minutes before your stomach tells the part of the brain (the hypothalamus) to initiate the satiety response. This reaction allows you to feel satisfied and therefore, you will have better control over the type of foods you choose to eat.
• Do your best to avoid alcohol beverages around junk foods. According to Medical News Today, a study conducted at Princeton University in 2004 showed that the hunger-increasing hormone, known as gelanin, is produced when alcohol is consumed. Hence it may not be a good idea to drink a martini while you’re in front of the cookie platter.
- Keep a journal. Writing down your daily food intake is a fantastic way to identify your triggers that cause you to binge on junk. Once you know your triggers, you can do your best to avoid them.
- Enjoy the moment. I am sure you will be stressed out, cooking, buying gifts, getting your home decorated or driving all over town visiting relatives. Therefore, the last thing you want to do is add more stress by worrying about your eating habits. Take a deep breath, relax and enjoy the moment. The holiday season comes around once a year, and you should allow yourself to enjoy it, side by side with your loved ones.