For some, the holiday season consists of an over-indulgence of tasty foods precipitated by a New Year’s resolution to lose weight. It is possible to still enjoy your favorite holiday treats without putting on a lot of extra weight. The key component is moderation. Moderation does not mean avoiding favorite dips, chips, appetizers, and desserts altogether. Total avoidance causes negative feelings of deprivation. Deprivation leads to the possibility of breaking down and making up for lost time eating all the foods that were “off limits”. As a result, it is easy to end up putting on extra pounds while facing yet another New Year making the same pledge again to lose weight.
It is not necessary to totally steer clear of the fun snack table at holiday parties to avoid gaining extra weight. Instead, apply the mindset of moderation. For instance, don’t load your plate to the brim with sweets, just take a couple of your favorite items to enjoy. I recommend filling the rest of your plate with healthier options such as fruit and veggies. Be mindful, not mindless about what you put on your plate. Even chocolate dipped strawberries are a better selection over a plate of cookies. Instead of piling your plate with turkey or ham and all the fixings, take smaller portions. If you’re still hungry after dinner, go back for a second round of veggies. With this strategy, it is possible to still enjoy the holiday goodies without feeling like you missed out.
Drink plenty of water or even fruit juices in lieu of soda or eggnog during the holidays. If you’re like me, I love eggnog. I have a small serving of light eggnog and savor the taste. I really like making a fruit juice punch for Christmas or New Year’s and I add club soda instead of Sprite. I promise it will still be tasty and everyone will want to try it!
If you really want to lay off the sweets this holiday season, skip the chocolates and grab a piece of fruit instead. To some that may sound like a terrible plan, but your body will thank you in the end. You can always try spicing up apples or slice up some mango for a holiday treat. You can also grab dried fruit as an alternative to satisfy cravings.
If you have breakfast with the in-laws this holiday season try toasting whole grain bread instead of white bread or bagels. I really enjoy making whole wheat pancakes with blueberries. Poached or scrambled eggs are a good option too. If you keep the majority of your breakfast pretty healthy, it’s ok to enjoy a few pieces of fried bacon without feeling so guilty.
Remember that you don’t have to cut out all the tasty treats this time of year. It is just a matter of “everything in moderation.” If you want to treat yourself (within reason), go for it! But just don’t end up on the sofa endlessly watching TV after. Instead, I recommend going out on the town or taking a walk with the family to enjoy the Christmas lights…
Warmest Regards this Season,Michelle Muse