It is November! Thanksgiving will be here soon, which is the start of the holiday season. This just also happens to be a time when many people get off track with healthy habits. With colder weather, family gatherings, and a multitude of holiday parties, it is quite easy to push aside exercise and healthy eating.
While some people are able to indulge during the holiday season and refocus at the start of the year, there are others who lose total momentum and never regain the good habits previously started. It does not have to be this way! Here are some simple strategies to help keep you on track during Thanksgiving and throughout the entire holiday season.
Don’t skip meals. Saving all of your calories for a big holiday feast typically results in overeating. This is especially true for breakfast. Those who consistently eat breakfast consume fewer calories throughout the day.
Watch portions. Many holiday gatherings include large buffet tables which invite you to come back for multiple helpings. Take a survey of the entire table before selecting any food. Choose what foods are worth trying, and which ones you can ignore. Watch your portion when you do select and keep to just one serving.
Watch out for liquid calories. Punch, eggnog, mixed drinks, and sodas can add up quickly. Instead, go for water, diet soda, light beer, or wine spritzers.
Hang out away from the food. Focus on socializing and keep the food table out of sight.
Have a snack. Try eating a protein based snack before a big get together so you don’t arrive starving and more likely to overeat.
Focus on Veggies. Start by filling your plate with salad and vegetables first, and then move on to portion controlled entrees and desserts.
Eat slowly. It takes 20 minutes from the time you start eating for your brain to realize you are full. Savor your food and don’t feel like you have to finish everything you put on your plate.
Bring something healthy. If you are the host, or if you are asked to bring a dish to the party, bring something nutritious and lower in calories (fruits, vegetable tray, lean meat and cheese tray).
Other Helpful Tips:
Change your focus. Focus on connecting with family, friends and colleagues, instead of over indulging in food and drink.
Continue exercise. Keep a regular exercise routine. Use this opportunity to invite friends and family to join you. Exercise is always more fun when it is also seen as a social activity.
Track your habits. Activity trackers, food logs, or simply just writing things on a calendar are excellent ways to keep tabs on your holiday health habits. Tracking makes you more aware of your choices and can be a great reminder if you start falling off track.
Skip the shame. If you get off track, don’t beat yourself up! Use this time as an opportunity to learn and do better next time. Set a new goal and move forward.
We at Blue Sky MD wish you and your family a fun, happy, and healthy Thanksgiving. Be sure to check out our BlueSky MD Pinterest page for a variety of healthier holiday recipes.