We all know the holidays can be a tricky time. There’s a lot of joy, but also a lot of stress, sometimes complicated family/friend dynamics, and a LOT of eating. To stay happy and healthy through the challenges and through the joy, I find it really important to have some guidelines to keep me on track. Here are 5 tips I live by during the holidays.
This is crucial for me during the holidays. Knowing that things can get hectic, I plan and prep my meals and snacks on Sunday for the week ahead. It takes time, but it’s so worth it. Plan ahead not just for your meals, but for the healthy snacks you keep at the office or take with you on the go. I take my pre-prepped snacks everywhere. (No shopping on an empty stomach!) Plan ahead for your Holiday potlucks, too. If you bring your own light & healthy dish, then you know there is something clean and easy to start with, even if you dip into some other things later. Need some tips? Just search #mealprepsunday.
I try to stay mindful of my portions. It is so easy to overeat during parties, family meals, and pretty much any time during this season. Don’t deprive yourself of the things you love, but be aware of your portions and avoid overeating. Meal prep helps because you can actually portion out your meals ahead of time.
Pre-Party Protein Snack
Fueling up with a protein snack before you go to a party keeps your mind on spending time with your friends and family, and helps you avoid mindless overeating. When I show up to a party hungry, I eat too much and too fast, and I always feel horrible after. Especially if I’m going to have a glass of wine, I always make better food choices if I start off with some protein. Some of my protein snacks include a hard boiled egg, a little roasted chicken, or a handful of nuts.
Eat and Drink Mindfully and Slowly
This can be challenging, especially in social settings. I tend to eat more with my family, so I use that setting as an opportunity to practice eating slowly and calmly. I pause and breathe between bites, enjoy conversation, and check in with my body. I also drink more water before my meals to slow down my eating. Make sure to pause after your meal to let your body digest and catch up before taking seconds. If you’re still hungry 20 minutes later, then a second helping is a great idea.
Giving our bodies a chance to rest and reset between meals is important. During busy social weeks, I use any night I eat at home as an opportunity to eat an early dinner and fast for 15 hours before breakfast, which helps with the balance of heavier meals I eat when I’m out.