While it may sound difficult, eating clean during the holidays is doable and easier than you might think.
You have had a long year, you have been faithful to your gym and diet and your body is glowing as a result of your effort. Will you be able to survive the temptation of the festivities and stay the course? It is easier to be disciplined when you are busy but it gets harder when everyone around you is letting loose and eating their hearts out. These tips will help you stay on course without sacrificing all the fun.
While it may sound difficult, eating clean during the holidays is doable and easier than you might think. You do not have to deprive yourself, you can eat all your favourite meals as long as they are fresh, unprocessed foods such as fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, and poultry prepared without oils, sugar, and salt.
Cook it yourself
With so much to do and so many people to entertain, ordering from out might seem the easier option but it is not necessarily healthy. Preparing your own holiday meal is the perfect way to ensure that it is as delicious as it is healthy. If you cannot make all the meals yourself, nutritionist Sheila Karungi suggests asking some of your guests to bring along home cooked meals to share with the rest. “This also works in case you are going to a party where you know there will not be healthy meals on the menu,” she adds.
Make healthy choices
There is a possibility that you will be attending different holiday parties where rich, high-calorie foods, will be in plenty. If you are attentive enough, you will also notice that there are platters of fresh fruits and salads that you should pick. Instead of completely denying yourself, Karungi advises that first fill ¾ of your plate with fruit or salad, and use the rest for the other food.
Glam up your veggies
Instead of presenting miserable looking easy to ignore vegetables, turn them into irresistible offerings. Diana Mbabazi a healthy eating fanatic says making your fruits and vegetables makes them more appealing to eat. Mbabazi cautions against slathering them in extravagant dressing and toppings. “Keep them simple by preparing them in a way that their flavor and taste comes alive and the nutrients remain intact. Usually steaming or roasting vegetables does the trick,” Mbabazi says.
This is no brainer, a big plate obviously carries a lot of food and small one does not.
Therefore, when serving, choose the smallest plate available and if you cannot find one, reduce your portions on the big plate. Mbabazi says she usually requests for a side plate or even a saucer whenever she is attending a function where sumptuous yet unhealthy food is being served.
Do not skip meals
We have all been victims of skipping meals hoping we are making up for an earlier or a later indulgency. But Karungi says that when we skip a meal we end up eating more than we should at the next one. “Instead of skipping, eat several small meals during the day which will not only keep you satisfied enough to make good choices, but will also keep energy high and blood sugar stable,” Karungi adds.
With all the cocktails and partying you will have to do, it is easy to forget to drink the healthiest beverage; water. Make a deliberate choice to drink enough water this holiday. Drink water with all your meals and between your alcoholic drinks too. It is believed that most adults consume almost 100 calories a day from alcoholic beverages. Since avoiding alcoholic beverages altogether may be hard during this time alternating between an alcoholic beverage and water can help you avoid adding weight and keeps you sober.
Just keep busy
As the saying goes an idle mind is the devil’s workshop. Keep yourself occupied enough so that you are not tempted to resort to eating just to pass time. Focus your energy into spending quality time with loved ones and less obsessing about what you are eating. When you go to visit friends and family make it a point to avoid temptation to indulge. A good idea is to eat something with protein and vegetables to stabilize your blood sugar before you leave home.
Give yourself a cheat day
It is unhealthy and useless to feel guilty about the foods you are eating. In fact guilt is one of the biggest reasons people go off diets and fitness regimens.
To ease your guilt give yourself one day where you ignore those negative voices in your head and enjoy an indulgence guilt-free day, and then remember to get back on track with your normal eating routine the very next day. The biggest mistake people make during holidays is bingeing all season long.
Avoid the comfy clothes
We all have our “eating clothes” those big pants and other loose clothing that have enough room which allows us to overeat.
For your figure’s sake, please pack your tight fitting clothes and leave those roomy clothes in the closet. The tight fitting clothes will not only make it uncomfortable for you to over eat, but looking at your great figure will inspire you to stay on track hopefully.
Quick tips to remember
• If you host a party at your home, send leftovers home with your guests.
• If you go for a party do not carry any leftovers back to your home.
• Stock the fridge with plenty of healthy options.
• Eat a healthy and filling breakfast to get the day off to a good start.
• Eat a snack and drink plenty of water before work parties and other functions so you are not tempted to eat junk food.
• Carry healthy snacks when you travel.