It is easy to overeat during the holidays. Delicious, aromatic foods surround you at work, home, and social gatherings. Sweets, comfort foods, second helpings, and holiday “cheers” are simply difficult to avoid. Here are some helpful tips to help maintain your weight and keep your sanity over the holiday season.
At Work and Home:
Promote healthy holiday snacks by making and/or bringing in fresh fruits and vegetables (watch your portions though) instead of baked goods. Include a lean or very lean protein for good measure. (Check out our website for ideas.)
If you have a choice of foods at a work holiday gathering, grab small portions, and choose healthy foods (lean proteins, veggies, and fruit).
Socialize as far away from the buffet table or kitchen as you can, so you are not constantly looking at or smelling the food. This will help reduce cravings and opportunities for seconds, thirds, etc.
Understand that you do not have to go back for seconds or even eat your entire plate of food. If the people you’re eating with always encourages you to eat more, eat your plate slowly so you aren’t pressured into getting seconds.
It is important to keep up with your regular exercise program to help reduce stress. Exercise pumps up endorphins (the brain’s natural feel good neurotransmitter), which improves mood and helps with sleep. If you do not have a regular exercise routine to reduce stress, try some relaxation techniques, such as, yoga, meditation, or get a massage. Practicing relaxation techniques not only decreases stress but can also help lower blood pressure, slow breathing rate, and reduce muscle tension.
Try to sleep 7-8 hours a night. Being well rested will also help maintain some sanity, and help you keep up with all the extra activities that coincide with the holidays.
Limit exposure to those high maintenance friends and family members who will normally stress you out, because they will likely stress you out even more over the holidays.
Be aware of the stress others are pushing onto you – the holidays are meant to be enjoyable, not stressful.
At a Social Gathering:
Volunteer to be the designated driver to avoid extra calories from alcoholic drinks. If you choose not to drink but feel embarrassed to tell others you are not drinking, order tonic water with a lime. It will look like a vodka tonic!
Hold a calorie free drink, like sparkling water, in your dominant hand. It can help you from grabbing appetizers, hors d’oeuvres, and prevent mindless eating and extra calories.
If you choose to drink, limit yourself to a glass of red wine, and drink plenty of water (a rule of thumb is to drink two glasses of water per alcoholic beverage).
Do not use alcohol as your escape from the stresses that pop up over the holidays!
Sit next to someone who doesn’t stress you out so you can enjoy your meal, savor each bite and feel blessed for the food and company.
Have a wonderful, stress-free, GreenLite friendly holiday!