How to Enjoy the Holidays Without Wrecking Your Health
We all want to enjoy the holidays but they're usually a mixed bag of ups and downs. It's essential to have a plan, so the more qualitative aspects of the holidays don't get side-swiped by the seemingly urgent in-your-face stuff.
Here are areas where the holiday season might trip-up our otherwise healthy habits:
- excess carbs
- way too much sugar
post sponsored by Pyure Organic
Enjoy the Holidays without Wrecking Our Health
If there were only one thing I planned to do during the holidays to avoid compromising my health, I'd make it avoiding sugar! Let's face it, everywhere you turn someone is offering you sugar.
Can this same treat be made sugar-free?
When making cakes, cookies, brownies, and other baked goods, try Pyure's bakeable blend stevia sweetener which measures cup for cup like sugar, but without all the extra calories.
Pyure sweeteners play an important role in decreasing calories and sugar intake. There are so many sugar-free desserts we can enjoy during the season of celebration. Try making tasty sugar-free desserts like:
- Cranberry Apple Pie
- Pumpkin Spice Bars
- Pumpkin Pie No Sugar Added
- Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes
- Pumpkin Spice Latte
- Peanut Butter Cookies
- Avocado Chocolate Pudding
You can still have a happy healthy holiday and enjoy some delicious desserts if you plan ahead.
Don't skip meals especially breakfast
Skipping meals to “save your appetite” for a holiday party or feast can only lead to one thing. Overeating! It's important to eat breakfast, with lots of fiber-rich foods.
Try eating low-calorie, high-fiber, crunchy foods for breakfast and lunch so you won't be ravenous when you arrive.
These Almond Flour Banana Muffins are a good wholesome grab-and-go breakfast choice with Pyure Organic All-Purpose Sweetener. Another delicious, a low-calorie breakfast to make ahead of time is Overnight Oats with Pyure Organic All-Purpose Sweetener
Avoid the “treat-trap.”
So many of us fall prey to optimism bias and end up overestimating how good we are doing. We may not think about how much sugar is in certain foods. After a half-hour walk with the family, we indulge in a treat, thinking, “I deserve this!”
Walking for thirty minutes burns about 75-80 calories at best. Do a reality check. Ask how many calories are in that dessert. Weigh calories in versus calories expended. Ask yourself, can I indulge myself in another way?
Skip the mall food court when holiday shopping
When holiday shopping, try to eat before you head to the mall. This one little trick will save you from compromising your health. The food court is notorious for having high calorie, sugar in the sauce, fried, or otherwise unhealthy food options.
You have enough to do during the holidays without keeping a food journal, but doing so just might help you stay on track with your health goals.
Don't have time to write it down? Create an album on your smartphone where you keep photos of everything you eat each day. This visual reminder could be just what you need to keep you from overindulging.
First of all, drinking water will keep our mucous membranes moist, which means fewer germs will get in our system. Secondly, being hydrated means that all of your bodily systems will work better. Thirdly, when you are adequately hydrated, you are less likely to overeat.
Plan healthy foods
If you are in charge of preparing the holiday meal, this is much easier. Plan lots of vegetable side dishes like these Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Maple Lime Vinaigrette & Toasted Pecans.
Steamed vegetables with salt and butter are elegant and simple. All those sauces can really add up to a lot of extra carbs and calories.
One cup of eggnog has about 350 calories! If you've been looking forward to eggnog all year, make your own eggnog with granular Pyure Organic All-Purpose Stevia Blend Sweetener.
When hosting a party, we always want to make sure there is enough food for everyone. What usually happens is we end up with plenty of leftovers. Avoid this situation by supplying guests with eco-friendly to-go containers that you bring out after everyone is finished eating.
At dinner parties, office parties, etc. use these tips
- choose the smallest plate available – this sounds crazy, but when you eat from a large plate, chances are you will fill it up and overeat.
- Ditto for glasses, use tall skinny glasses instead of wide ones.
- At holiday gatherings, try to eat the healthiest options first, such as soup and salad.
- Take smaller portions of rich foods and desserts.
- Be mindful while eating – really focus on the senses.
Take your own carryout container. Instead of eating a second helping, put your second helping in the carryout container, and eat it for your next meal. Any time you are thinking of a second helping, wait 15 minutes to see if the desire passes.
If you are asked to bring a dish, consider bringing a sugar-free dessert. Most of your favorite dessert recipes can be made sugar-free. Stevia is widely used as a sweetener around the world and has no effect on either blood sugar levels or glucose response making it safe for diabetics.
Why not turn on some music and dance, go for a walk, or play a game of ball with the kids? Moving your body will help burn off some calories and keep you away from the buffet table.
Keep wearing your favorite clothes, and if they begin to feel a bit snug, adjust your eating and exercising accordingly.
If you are following low-carb, Ketogenic, or Trim Healthy Mama, or any other diet, don't let one slip-up keep you derailed. Get back on track. So many of us tend to throw our hands up in defeat when we experience one setback. Even if you overdo the food and drink at one celebration, don't let it become the norm for the entire holiday season.
If you eat with complete abandon on the actual holidays, this would only add up to about 3-5 days, so stay active and keep moving forward. However, if you “fall off the wagon” for the entire season, it may be much harder to get back in the habit of eating healthily after the holidays are over.
Don't feel guilty if you indulge in that eggnog and fudge, just make sure that you get back on track with those healthy behaviors.
Get a Handle on Stress
As much as possible, plan ahead for the holidays. What celebrations will you attend? How many gifts will you need to buy?
Expectations are relationship killers. If you want to enjoy the holidays, try to have reasonable expectations. Picture perfect family gatherings are for magazines!
Not only do expectations wreck relationships, but they can also lead us down the path to depression. Check your expectations to make sure they are realistic. A good therapist can help you keep your expectations in line with reality.
Don’t Neglect Self-Care
It’s easy to rush, rush, rush through the holidays and forget to do the little things that help you maintain your health. Forgetting vitamins, not drinking enough water, staying up too late, getting up too early, pushing yourself too hard, are all ways we neglect self-care. Stay on top of these and implement some of the strategies listed and you’ll manage the holidays without a setback.
Focus on experiences that celebrate the holidays as much as the foods you’ll be enjoying.
Most of us are interested in maintaining good health. With a little forethought, we can cruise through the holiday season without wrecking our health.
Don't feel like you have to deprive yourself. Remember, this season is about coming together with family and friends to celebrate, not obsessively counting calories.
Choose a couple of areas to focus on if you feel overwhelmed by the idea of implementing new strategies.
*The information provided on this site is not intended to substitute for professional medical advice and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or ailment. Always seek the advice of your physician or health care provider with any questions you have in regards to a medical condition.