For most of us, the holiday season wrecks havoc on our diets and our waistline, all in the space of a couple of weeks. With Christmas parties, family dinners, leftovers and endless treats and pudding, it’s not hard to see why! Oh, and to add on top of that, many of us will have little time left for the gym and even if we do it’s probably closed!
But it doesn’t have to be that bad. You can still eat healthy, and have some cake too! Here are some healthy tips for you and your family during this holiday season!
Eat before you eat
Probably one of the strangest sounding, yet most effective tips. Don’t turn up to a feast starving! Have a light meal or healthy snack before departing for a big feast, to avoid overindulging caused by showing up starved.
If it’s a lunch time feast, start the day with a filling and healthy breakfast, and then again just before arriving, try eating a snack with plenty of fiber, protein and fat, such as an apple with nut butter, or rice crackers and hummus.
Save room for the main event
Don’t go overboard on hors d’oeuvres before the meal even starts! Grazing on these snacks and treats rack up the calorie counter like you wouldn’t believe, and you won’t even feel like you’ve eaten anything. Skip the empty calories of cocktails and sugar drinks, and perhaps instead sup on some sparkling water or even some wine.
Don’t overfill your plate, as you’re likely to finish it all even if you get full half way through. Also, fill half your plate with vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, roasted brussels sprouts and kale, ¼ with lean protein, like turkey or ham, and ¼ with carbohydrates, like yams, stuffing and latkes.
Everything else can be put in there as tasters, but don’t stack up your whole plate with crackling for example. Another tip is to slow down when you eat, and sip water between bites!
Take any extra portions home with you to have as leftovers! You will enjoy and appreciate it more the next day, rather than forcing it down when you don’t really feel like it. Also, it’ll feel like Christmas all week!
Have a Treat
Don’t deny yourself dessert or a treat or two. Just plan ahead. Don’t let your kids have two full slices of pie if they want to try two flavors, instead, have half a slice of each. Remind your kids to chew their dessert slowly and to savor the tastes rather than inhaling the cake!
Grab your kids and take a walk after a big meal! Post meal walks are great and you’ll feel much better and far less tired than if you had just plonked yourself on the couch. Of course, it’s great family time as well.
If it’s cold out, try an active game such as charades!
Call in the Substitutes
Healthy can be delicious too! Set a good example and show your kids and family just how tasty a healthy holiday meal can be! Check out these healthy recipe make-overs for the holidays on Melissa’s Healthy Living.