Do you wish you had exercised more self-control after the sumptuous feasts over the holidays? Are you prone to looking back on the festive season with regret because you put on weight and forgot about your fitness goals? If you answered yes to either of these questions, you need to check out our top tips on how to eat healthy during the holidays!
Follow our top five tips to stay healthy during the holidays this year
By simply following these five healthy holiday eating suggestions, you can make sure that this Christmas is memorable for all the right reasons.
- Eat before you go out — This might sound counterintuitive if you are trying to consume fewer calories over the festive season but following this advice can help you to remain in full control of your eating habits when attending Christmas parties and gatherings. We often have no idea what food will be served at a party or informal gathering, making it very hard to follow a sensible calorie consumption plan over the holiday period. However, by eating healthy holiday meals before attending each event, you can minimise the potential for unhealthy eating regardless of the food the party host serves.
- Don’t graze at buffets — Even if you eat healthy holiday meals before you socialise, you could still undo all your good work by grazing at a buffet table all night. To avoid this issue, we suggest you fill a plate with food, sit down, and engage in conversation rather than hang around the buffet area. This way, you can avoid picking at food and snacks for the entire evening and consuming way more calories than you planned to in the process. By following just these first two tips, you can significantly reduce your holiday food consumption this season.
- Put vegetables first — Whether you are trying to follow healthy holiday eating habits at home or at friends' houses, a very effective approach is to load up your plate with green vegetables and carrots before you help yourself to meat, potatoes, bread, sauce and stuffing. By doing so, you will be able to lower your overall calorie consumption and increase the amount of healthy food you consume during the festive period. The fibre and water content of vegetables will help to fill your stomach more quickly, leaving less room for the high-calorie foods we all love consuming over Christmas.
- Make healthy holiday food swaps — By substituting healthier alternatives for some of the most fattening holiday foods, you can help avoid another dieting disaster this Christmas. You could, for example, swap turkey for a vegetarian substitute and use natural sweeteners instead of adding sugars to your cranberry sauce. There’s no need to swap everything out, though — just pick a few of the worst offenders and exchange them for healthier recipes and food choices.
- Consider alcohol-free drinks — Don’t let alcohol spoil your chances of a healthier holiday season this year. Consider choosing alcohol-free drinks at some of the parties you attend. If you are serious about formulating a solid plan for healthy holiday eating, you also need to be mindful about what you drink. A top tip: swap spirits and sugary mixers for sparkling or soda water.
If you think the above tips seem a bit rigid for the festive season, please don't despair! You can still enjoy the things you love, even little sweet treats, provided they’re consumed in moderation and you don’t lose track of the main aim which is healthy holiday eating!
If you’re looking for more tips to stay healthy during the holidays, please contact us today. At Vision Personal Training, we specialise in helping people to follow healthier lifestyles through personalised nutrition plans and regular exercise. If you are close to one of our studios, you’re more than welcome to drop in for an informal chat!