And just like that the holidays are here! As a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist I get asked quite often what are some of the best things to do during the holidays to prevent weight gain.
It is a joyous time of the year, filled with family, friends, laughter, and food! Lots of food. We get to enjoy a variety of dishes we might not eat throughout the rest of the year, usually on multiple occasions! While most of us look forward to this time each year, we might also become fearful of how it will leave us feeling as soon as January hits.
Here are my 3 holiday eating tips for staying on track! (Hint, they might surprise you, so keep reading.
1. Do Not Skip Meals
If I could have a penny for every person that told me their strategy is to save calories for their holiday feast, I would be one rich lady! Unfortunately, this strategy often leads to overeating and feeling completely miserable. My recommendation is to treat your day just like any other day. Plan around the time of your holiday meal and eat as you normally would before and after. Why? Portion control
2. Plan Your Dishes
Is there a dish you are designated to bring every year for your holiday celebration? I know for me it’s my sweet potato casserole. I absolutely love sweet potato casserole, but I also love that I know what goes into the dish. When you bring food, you get to control the ingredients. This is especially helpful for those of you who have food restrictions due to allergies or sensitivities! (Do you suspect a certain food causes you issues? Contact me today and let’s chat!)
If you tend to be the person that just shows up empty handed, well that’s just fine too! Try asking the host or hostess what’s on the menu so you have a plan going into the celebration. Why? Both planning ahead and bringing your own, homemade dishes can save you calories!
3. Enjoy Your Holiday
Sometimes we get so caught up in worrying about how the holidays can ruin your progress that we forget to actually enjoy them in the first place. Some might get frustrated, overwhelmed, or even give up, but that doesn’t have to be you. If the holidays provide you with extra time off from work, spend it with your friends and family, explore new hobbies, incorporate a new exercise routine, and definitely try new foods. This is a great time to start expanding your dietary portfolio! (Hello good gut health.)
Remember, just because we’re exposed to a smorgasbord of dishes and sweets during the holidays doesn’t mean that we are doomed. It’s a great time to learn how to navigate through social gatherings and enjoy them just like you would any other day of the year. You have the power to choose balanced meals. You have the power to try new things. You have the power to say no. You have the power to say yes. Why? One day/meal will not ruin your goals!
For more help that is individualized to you feel free to contact me!
Specialities include: digestive health, autoimmune diseases, healthy weight management, and prevention and management of chronic diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure, or diabetes.