The upcoming holidays are times of the year when families come together to give thanks and simply enjoy one another. Oftentimes, these gatherings are centered around hearty meals, and overeating is prevalent. If you’re concerned about eating too much – or about eating the wrong things – this guide will help you make great choices without feeling cheated.
#1 – Think Realistically
When everyone else sits down at the table to eat turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes, are you going to feel satisfied if you eat a salad you packed for yourself? Probably not. Understand that the holidays aren’t the right time to think about losing pounds. If you want to think realistically, remember that it’s okay to splurge a little now and then, but overdoing it can result in weight gain. Realistically, you’re probably going to have a few bites of that pumpkin pie, but you don’t have to go back for seconds.
#2 – Make Healthy Choices
Once you’re seated at the table and presented with options for your meal, try to make the healthiest possible choices. For example, if you’re eating turkey, choose the lean breast meat over the thigh. It contains less fat but still plenty of protein, which makes it an excellent holiday meal choice. Opt for a baked sweet potato over butter-laden mashed potatoes, and choose vegetables or fruits that don’t contain extra fat or sugar.
#3 – Stick to Serving Sizes
Everyone likes to overindulge during the holidays, but eating healthy requires dedication. A serving of meat, for example, should be no larger than a standard deck of cards. Your plate should consist of one serving of meat, one serving of carbs, and two servings of vegetables. If you can’t decide which food you want to eat the most, consider divvying up your servings by taking a spoonful of each option. You can have a half serving of turkey and a half serving of ham, and you can do the same with your carbs.
#4 – Be Careful with the Beverages
Beverages are one of the most prevalent sources of empty calories, and this is especially true when it comes to alcohol. Limit your consumption to cut back on calories, and remember that a few glasses of wine can also lessen your inhibitions and make you more prone to overeating. What’s more, skip sugar-laden soda or juice and instead have a glass of water or all-natural juice without extra sugar.
#5 – Indulge a Little
If you truly want to be healthy, it’s important to remember that you’ll have to cut yourself a little slack from time to time. Dieting never works; it’s all about making a lifestyle change that you can stick with your entire life. If you deny yourself that small piece of pie at every single gathering, your healthy lifestyle will start to feel more like a chore than a good decision. Indulge a little from time to time, and remember that you can make up for that piece of pie by cutting a few calories here and there over the next few days – or even by adding in a little extra exercise.
Although eating healthy during the holidays can be difficult, it isn’t impossible. Be realistic about your expectations, make healthy choices from those that are presented to you, stick to serving sizes, and be careful about what you drink. As long as you can do these things, a little indulgence here and there doesn’t hurt, and you can feel satisfied at the end of your holiday meal.