It’s the happiest time of the year! And the most stressful, for some. With so many holiday events, family obligations, end of year projects, and travel, the holiday season typically means indulging in a great deal of unhealthy food and drink, lack of sleep, and extreme emotion. As a result, the holidays become as much about merriment as expanding waist lines, fatigue, bloating, sugar cravings, and excess pounds.
In the midst of so much activity, taking care of yourself and focusing on your overall health goals requires focus and commitment. To help you navigate the holiday waters, here are 8 tips for healthy holiday eating:
Plan Ahead: You know what events, parties, and holiday functions are coming up, and most likely, you know what kind of food will be offered. Plan accordingly. Look at the menu options and plan your order before you leave the house. Among the rich, decadent food there’s always a fruit tray or vegetable platter lurking in the shadows. Be a holiday sleuth and find clean foods wherever you plan to go.
Eat Before You Start: Eat mindfully and healthfully before you head out to a big event. Make sure your meal includes plenty of veggies, lean protein, and whole grains, which will keep you satisfied and energized. When you’re hungry, you’re much more inclined to reach for high sugar, high fat options.
Bring Snacks: Just because holiday decadence is all around you doesn’t mean you have to eat it. Revel in the social aspect instead of the food. Bring sliced apples, carrots, or trail mix along with your holiday gifts and snack in a way that will leave you feeling energized and lean.
Indulge Mindfully: Obviously you’re not going to go through the holidays without enjoying the plethora of treats it has to offer. Healthy eating doesn’t mean you’re a holiday scrooge. Healthy living is all about balance, and part of that balance is indulgence. Just do it mindfully. Instead of eating every sample available, consciously choose what you’d like to indulge in. Are you craving that rich chocolate dessert or would a crunchy, salty treat do the trick?
Start a New Tradition: Just because you’ve always prepared (or eaten) a certain dish each holiday doesn’t mean you’re obligated to do it again this year. Experiment with new recipes that provide the same sense of comfort and warmth without sacrificing health and all the hard work you’ve committed to. There are PLENTY of clean, whole food, absolutely delicious recipes that will leave you and your guests raving. Viola, a new tradition is born!
Move Your Body: No succumbing to the old ‘I don’t have to time to exercise’ excuse this holiday season. Yes, you’re busy. Yes, exercise is still a priority. In fact, the reason that your days are so hectic is the very reason you should be making time to move. Sweating it off is one of the most productive ways to not only lose weight, but keep mental and emotional sanity as well.
Solitary Confinement: Sometimes you just need to step away. Constant people, obligations, and parties mean little time for serenity and silence. Carve out time in your insanely busy schedule to be alone, even if that means hiding in the closet for 5 minutes to breath and calm your mind.
Deep Breathing: There’s a lot going on, and you don’t want to miss a single moment of it. That’s great; just don’t forget to breathe. Deep breathing keeps you grounded, focused on the present moment, and better able to handle all the needs and demands of the holiday season without succumbing to stress and reaching for weight sabotaging food.
Make this a monumental holiday season. This year, let’s not give yourself permission to eat stuff you wouldn’t normally bring home from the store just because it’s the holidays. This time of year is filled with temptation that can sabotage your health, wellness, and weight loss goals. But they don’t have to. You are 100% in control of the foods that go into your mouth. The choices you make now impact the status of your body, your health, and your family, so honor the new lifestyle you’ve created and love yourself up!
For additional, personalized support and information related to clean eating, balanced nutrition, and healthy lifestyle, visit Eat Clean Health or reach out to Jodi directly. Be sure take a to look at the variety of nutrition plans, programs, detoxes and meal plans offered at Eat Clean Health and don’t forget to sign up for the Eat Clean Health monthly newsletter.