We all anticipate the holiday season with eagerness … and perhaps some dread. Holiday traditions often involve food and drinks that hold emotional ties to childhood memories or are simply designed to tempt the palate. All too quickly we’ve snacked and sampled our way to extra pounds, foggy brain, and misery.
Rather than resign yourself to repeating the same cycle each holiday season, why not explore some strategies that you can employ to keep yourself energized and in balance? Here are a few strategies that will help you come through this holiday season in better shape than last year.
Stay Hydrated – Did you know that dehydration can be masked as hunger? Wen you feel hungry, drink a tall glass of water and wait 15 minutes to reevaluate whether you are really hungry. On the day of a party, drink at least 5 glasses of water during the day to prepare.
Eat Before Holiday Parties – Just as it is risky to go grocery shopping when you are hungry, going to a party that way can set you up for overload. You can curb your appetite with healthy food before you leave home. Look for high-fiber raw vegetables and wash them down with a big glass of water, or blend up a green smoothie to drink your fiber and liquid together. You will feel full more easily and stay energized through the day.
Plan Your Plate – We’ve all approached a buffet table, picked up a plate at one end and begun filling it with tasty morsels. By the time you reach the other end, your plate is piled with much more than you would normally eat. Before you grab that plate, take a stroll along the food table to plan your choices. Commit to filling half your plate with vegetables so that you can indulge in some sweets without guilt.
Socialize Away from the Table – You go to a party to visit with your friends and meet new people, so do that away from the table. If you stand near the food – whether the buffet or a snack bowl – the temptation is there to snack as you talk. remove yourself from temptation zone and you will reduce the mindless consumption of foods you don’t really need.
Limit Your Alcohol – Yes, I’ve gotta go there. If you are going to drink alcohol, plan your limit in advance and alternate your drinks with sparkling water and lime. Alcohol quickly enters your blood stream and dominates the attention of your liver to process it. When your liver is focused on alcohol, it is unable to properly process the fatty foods you’re eating and those extra calories are carried immediately into fat storage.
Don’t just fall into the holidays and expect to come out in January without having lost ground in your health. Your life – your health – is worth too much to do that. Plan your approach, feed your body and fuel your cells with a holiday green smoothie to carry you through the demands of the season and help you enter the new year as a victor.