If there is any time of year one is meant to indulge—with family, friends, and food—it’s the winter holidays. The following tips are meant to help you enjoy in a mindful and moderately healthy way!
Volunteer to bring the healthy option. Make your contribution to a holiday gathering something low-cal, high fiber, and filling, such as a veggie/fruit platter or salad. If you choose to avoid the goodies, at least you won’t starve the whole time.
Make a mental plan for just how much you’ll indulge. If you know you can’t resist your grandmother’s famous sugar cookies, give yourself permission to enjoy, just set a limit.
Be semi-satiated when you arrive. Eat something light and healthy—like a cup of hearty vegetable soup—just before you leave home for a holiday party or feast. You are much less likely to overindulge if you’re not ravenous or low on blood sugar when the festivities begin.
Drink lots of water. It will keep you hydrated and make you feel fuller much faster. If imbibing alcohol, try making every other drink a glass of water too.
Avoid standing near the food. Position yourself as far away as possible from temptation and keep your focus on other things: the music, decorations, great conversation.
Use your hands for portion control. For starches such as potatoes and stuffing, take a palm-sized portion. For proteins such as turkey and ham, choose the leanest cuts and take a fist-sized portion. Fill the rest of your plate with veggies and salads.
Make your plate colorful. If your plate looks white and bland, it’s definitely lacking in nutrition. If it looks like a rainbow, you are in good shape! The variety in color signifies the foods contain lots of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Know you can always go back for seconds. Avoid heaping your plate with mounds of everything on the first go. You will most likely have chances for second helpings if wanted.
When you decide to indulge, own it completely! There is nothing less satisfying than consuming delicious foods with a sense of guilt. If it’s something you really love, give yourself permission, then savor and enjoy every single bite.