Yes it can be a bit of a struggle to manage your weight during the holiday season, but I’m here to tell you it’s possible. Yes, in spite of all of the high-calorie food, parties, alcohol, and stress.
Here are five tips that you can follow to eat clean during the holidays.
Limit The Alcohol
Booze despite what they will say about the benefits of red wine is just empty calories. Sure I could I stand here in a Ivory tower and tell you not to drive but that’s not realistic. We live in the real world, so what I want you to focus on making a plan of how many drinks you will have BEFORE you head to the party.
If you are someone who needs to have a drink in your hand, focus on drinking sparkling water, seltzer or water to space your drinking and to hydrate.
Eat Before You Go
It’s the holidays we get BUSY! It’s easy to forget to eat OR say hey I’m going to be eating a lot at the party so I should eat light or skip meals in a way to save calories. Sorry my loves. This simply isn’t true.
It’s always best to eat a small salad or some raw vegetables before going to a holiday party. If you are hosting a holiday party, make sure that you eat throughout the day.
Eating throughout the day will help you maintain a normal blood sugar level and make you less hungry and less likely to overeat when the big meal comes. Nothing is worse than being famished and having a buffet of unhealthy food in front you, it almost guarantees that you will release the hounds and wake up the next day with regret and a food baby.
Make your own meals for holiday parties. If you are going to your in-law’s house and know that they usually have high-calorie foods, offer to bring a dish. Most hosts don’t mind having one less item to prepare.
When you bring your own dish, you know what is going to be in it, down to the pinch of salt. You can skip the heavy cream and butter and go for a vegetable rich, tasty dish. You can also make holiday favorites but know you replace some of the ingredients to make them more figure friendly.
If you can’t bring a contribution to the meal, then search out platters that allow you to select simple ingredients. Vegetable platters, fruit platters, and sandwich platters let you see what is going on your plate. A plate full of vegetables and fruit with some lean meat is about as clean a holiday dish that you can get.
You can always make a salad, which is a simple item to prepare and the roughage will prevent you from overeating.
Whole Grain Hero
When you’re ready to make your plate search out anything that has whole grains in them. Whole-grain is full of fiber and is better for you than processed grains. Make traditional sides with whole grains instead of processed grains. A stuffing made with stone ground cornmeal, whole-wheat and vegetables is going to be healthier than the one you get out of a box.
If you prefer rice instead of stuffing with your holiday meal, make sure you select a whole-grain rice. White rice has had the husk removed. The husk is where all of the B vitamins and fiber are on the rice. Removing these shells makes for a more tender rice but a less nutritional food.
Do you know what a portion of meat looks like?
Most of us don’t.
Instead of focusing on the exact portion size, you focus on the size of your plate. Our brains judge how full we are based on the amount of food that we have consumed off our plates. Selecting a smaller size plate like a salad plate or dessert plate for dinner items will help you save calories while still leaving you satisfied.
Another way to trick your brain is to use a brightly colored plate. The brightly colored plates allow you to see how much you have eaten. While this may not seem like a big calorie saver, it will make you fuller faster when you can see how much food you’ve eaten.
Now you have five simple survival techniques to eat clean during the holidays.
Which ones have worked for you in the past?