Ara Wiseman

12 STEP SURVIVAL GUIDE TO HOLIDAY EATING

  1. Plan ahead. Before the holidays arrive, evaluate how much time you can devote to working out and creating healthy meals. Create a plan for incorporating good nutrition and fitness into your daily routine.
  2. Don’t skip meals. When you skip meals, you are more likely to overeat during your next meal or be tempted by unhealthy foods. Remember to drink a lot of water.
  3. Practice defensive eating. Eat something like an apple with cinnamon or veggies with hummus an hour before a family dinner, so you are not ravenously hungry.
  4. Don’t shop hungry. Eat before you leave home and bring healthy snacks with you so that you won’t be tempted to make unhealthy purchases. Incorporate extra walking wherever you can.
  5. Fill up on healthy stuff. Start by filling up on salad and/or soup. Underfill rather than overfill your plate. Take a break in the middle of eating to take inventory of how you feel.
  6. Eat smaller amounts of sugary foods. Eat smaller dessert portions. Have 1 cookie instead of 3, or half a slice of cake or pie. Better yet, learn how to modify your favorite recipes in a healthy way.
  7. Don’t avoid fat. Eating small amounts of healthy fat helps to satisfy your appetite. Add half an avocado to your salad or try tahini or hummus as dips.                                                                                                                                      
  8. Alcohol. Alcoholic beverages pack on the calories. If you do drink, stick to light beer or a champagne/wine spritzer. Remember, most of the calories in alcoholic drinks come from sugary mixes.
  9. Stop eating when you feel full. You may be tempted to overeat if you linger by the food table, or if you become bored or restless. Drink a glass of water instead, or stick to healthy snacks (fruits and vegetables). Wear form fitting instead of loose clothing to keep yourself in check.
  10. Focus while eating. Chew your food well and enjoy the smell, taste and texture of each item. Become more mindful of how fast you are eating.    
  11. Don’t forget to exercise! Fit an hour of physical activity into your day. Exercise helps to burn calories, relieve stress, and elevate your endorphins and mood. Take a brisk walk, go for a run, dance or bike-ride.
  12. Gratitude. Take a meditative moment at least once a day to breathe deeply and clear your mind of all the clutter. Be grateful for all that you have.
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