How I Plan to Eat this Holiday Season without the Guilt Trip

Christmas and New Year celebrations are just around the corner and we’re bound to meet old friends, families, and enjoy good food. Yes, the holidays, especially Christmas and New Year is all about home-cooked meals—those scrumptious delights we’ve been hoping for throughout the year. But, we also feel guilty after eating these foods. So, how can we have fun, eat heartily, and live healthy? In this article, I’m sharing my plans to enjoy eating during the holidays, while also keeping lean.
tips to stay healthy for the holidays

Healthy Holiday Eating Plan:

Plan #1: Always Check Ingredients

Most people think that the food that they eat is what makes them fat. However, this isn’t entirely true: there are certain substances or “hidden ingredients” that can make you fat.  In an article for Save Our Bones; writer Vivian Goldschimdt, MA, warns people of these hidden ingredients:
  • Soybean Oil
  • Yellow # 5 (a food dye)
  • Propylene glycol alginate (E405)
  • Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)
  • Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT)
These ingredients have been found to cause nausea, heart irregularities, migraine, seizures, and skin rashes. Aside from these side effects, these ingredients can also affect your brain’s chemistry, making you feel depressed. Now, to help avoid these ingredients, you can use nutritional apps to help you choose healthier alternatives. Verizon Wireless’ Michelle Gilbert recommends Fooducate; an app that scans a product’s barcode to inform you of its nutritional value and what to avoid. So, before buying ingredients for your holiday feast, check the labels first to stay healthy and fit.

Plan # 2: Grab a Light Snack before the Party

Starving yourself before going to a holiday feast isn’t a good idea; it’s always better to grab a light snack before the party. Danielle Schmidt, a Clinical-Registered Dietician, said the following in a Mlive interview, “Don’t go hungry to the party, or the festivity, or wherever you’re going.” People tend not to over eat and won’t have feelings of guilt afterwards. Light salads, a sandwich, or a bowl of fruit will fill you up before the festivities. Keep yourself full so you can eat normally instead of reactionary.

Plan # 3: Be Mindful of Your Food Choices

Avoid grabbing everything you see on the table; fill half of your plate with healthier options instead. Vegetables and salads are good starters during a meal, so, go all-in with them. Take smaller servings of some of your favorites, and avoid getting seconds of these. Stacking up on protein is also a good way of keeping healthy while eating. Lean dairy products, beans, and meats are some of the best foods to keep you full during the party. Don’t forget to leave a small room for dessert; you also may want a bit of sugar at the end of the meal.

Plan # 4: Don’t Forget to Grab a Glass—A Glass of Water

People usually associate thirst for hunger and tend to eat more than usual. In fact, a feature on Woman’s Day said that dehydration symptoms (low energy or sleepiness) are similar to being hungry. This may lead us to eat more to increase our energy levels. To curb these cravings, it’s recommended that we stay hydrated to adjust or body’s hunger signals. A glass of water can or a cup of tea can help suppress our appetite. Avoid juice, soda, or punch since these usually pack more than 100 calories per serving. Tea or plain water are great choices.

Plan # 5: Stay Lean by Exercising During the Holidays

Maintaining our weight should be one of our goals during the holidays. Exercising shouldn’t be confined inside the gym or your room; why not take a walk with friends or family after indulging yourselves in a feast? Enjoy the fresh air and walk those calories you just consumed, or dance with the family. Playing with the kids is also a good form of exercise and it makes things more fun. Make sure to set between 30 to 60 minutes worth of physical activity time to work what you just ate. Remember that it losing weight isn’t our goal for the holidays; it’s about maintaining it and keeping healthy.
Well, I hope that my plan will help you stay lean and fit during the holiday season. It’s the season to be jolly, hearty, and light. Remember: food can’t control you—we’re always in control of our food. Happy holidays, everyone!

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