I Will Survive! Navigating The Holidays…On A Diet
Face it. When you’re watching what you eat, holiday meals can be more than just a challenge. With buffet tables of endless offerings and steady streams of traditional deserts, it can feel almost impossible to make healthy choices. Couple this with the pressures of social or family events and holiday meals can mean disaster for your diet.
But, with a few simple tips in mind, navigating the minefield that is a typical holiday spread doesn’t have to be so tough. Here’s a quick guide.
Tip 1: Prepare
One of the best ways to avoid eating mishaps around the holidays is to do a little pre-planning. Before you even arrive, it can be immensely helpful to think carefully about what else you choose to eat on that day.
According to one nutrition professional, eating a balanced breakfast the day of a potentially ruinous holiday meal can curb cravings, tame hunger, and generally help you make smarter choices when faced with a table of Holiday specialties. Protein, healthy fats, and whole grains at your morning meal can set you up for later successes.
Tip 2: Choose Carefully
Apart from thinking about what you eat before a holiday meal, making smart choices in the face of typical holiday food options can be your ticket to diet survival. According to this comprehensive holiday health guide, choosing to enjoy plant proteins or lean meat in the form of poultry or seafood dishes is a critical step to diet maintenance.
By focusing on your protein intake and filling your plate with hearty, nutritionally rich foods, you can feel full much faster, potentially eliminating later temptations. With added vegetables and wholesome grains, you can easily enjoy a filling holiday meal.
Tip 3: Do It Yourself!
One of the dangers of the typical holiday meal or party is that often, each guest brings their own dish to share. Why not use this to your advantage by bringing your own, healthy dish?
As discussed in this piece on healthy holiday cooking, arriving with a homemade dish makes a great impression and, even better, no one has to know you made it with your diet goals in mind.
Tip 4: Be A Social Butterfly
Apart from food choices, another easy way to ensure your dietary sanity during the holidays is surprisingly simple: don’t make food the focus. While this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t eat, it can help you avoid the constant temptation of a buffet table or visually appealing spread.
Instead, divert attention to other aspects of the party! Interact with friends and family members you don’t see often. Join in on a group activity or tradition. While it may sound elementary, physically distancing yourself from various foods can help you avoid typical holiday temptations.
Tip 5: Be Mindful
The last tip might be the most basic: just think about your journey.
If you find yourself struggling with the temptation to divert from your diet or nutritional plan, it can be tremendously helpful to remember your fitness successes or milestones. By reminding yourself of your progress, you can move forward with your goals and avoid potential food-based setbacks.
Most of all, it is important to realize that your fitness goals extend far beyond the rather brief holiday season. By resisting temptation and overindulgence now, you can be sure to remain on the right track for months to come.
Tip 6: Contact The Experts
Even if a barrage of holiday foods does manage to knock you off your fitness stride, a new workout plan or strategy can be the boost you need to get back on track.
Whether you are new to fitness or an old pro, talking with an expert personal trainer can help you reach your goals. The friendly staff and welcoming atmosphere of EA Fitness combine for a highly effective fitness environment. Contact EA today!