I want each of you to reach your health goals and feel great this holiday season. So I’m sharing nine tricks of the trade I've learned as a registered dietitian, to help you navigate through holiday danger zones, and survive the cravings & stresses ahead:
1- Stay hydrated
Many times when we feel hungry, it’s actually thirst. Drink plenty of water, especially at parties. Have a glass of water, still or sparkling, before dinner or cocktails.
2- Keep cocktails to a minimum
Your willpower is not as strong when you have a buzz. If you have cocktails or wine, alternate them with a glass of water. Half the alcohol and double the hydration!
3- Use a small plate at the buffet
It’s all about portion control. Prioritize your favorite treats, have a taste, then cross the room to move away from the food and temptation. Make conversation with friends or coworkers elsewhere.
4- Stop drinking soda, and caffeinated beverages in the afternoon
Soda—both regular and sugar free—is bad for your bone density and adds nothing to your nutrition. Plus it leaves you with a worse slump after the sugar rush, and is a source of expensive, empty calories.
5- Avoid the holiday snacks and candy around the office
Find better snack options (fruit, nuts, fiber-rich snacks) and keep them out of sight.
6- Sneak in ways to be active
I know we’re all busy. If scheduled exercise is not possible, park far away at the mall or grocery store (not hard to do in this season!), get up and move during commercial breaks, dance a little while you cook… just move more!
7- Limit screen time
Put a timer or alarm on your phone or other device to minimize going down a rabbit hole of too much screen time. When the alarm rings, step away, and find something else to do.
8- Practice self care
This can be a joyous time of year, but the parties, shopping, and busy pace bring stress too. Practice some self love to avoid stress eating. It can be quiet time, listening to a meditation app, a yoga class, or whatever works to keep you sane and centered.
9- Start fresh each day
If you have a bad, I-really-blew-it kind of day, be gentle with yourself. Take a deep breath, and find a way to start fresh tomorrow. Every day is a new day and a new chance.
Some of these ideas may seem like common sense, but sometimes looking back at the basics is the best way to start a new healthy routine.
I wish you every success for the holiday and beyond!