Winter is here. And while the weather outside might not look that different for us in Santa Barbara, the parties and seasonal sweets are here! Eggnog anyone? A lot of extreme diet advice starts floating around before the holidays. Contrary to what you’ve heard, eating healthy during the holidays does not involve fasting before your meal (blood sugar nightmare), obsessing over calories (not fun), or trying to work out after a feast meal.
We do know, however, that the season’s rich foods lingering around for months can create a challenge for those working hard to reach specific weight loss goals. So in this spirit, we offer a list of tips for eating healthy during the holidays.
Enjoy a Drink or Two, But Go Slowly
This is a big one, mainly because alcohol contains a good amount of calories and little to no nutrition. We’re not saying you should forgo a glass of wine with dinner or that annual cup of eggnog. But pick and choose your indulgences! Maybe don’t go hard on dessert if you plan to drink more than one glass of wine. Eating healthy during the holidays is about pacing yourself and enjoying the things you love.
Make One Meal Healthy On The Feasting Day
There’s no need to fast beforehand to have those decadent mashed potatoes you love. Simplify your choices early in the day and plan ahead so you’re not reaching for a cinnamon roll at 8 am and pecan pie at 8 pm. Think about having a high-protein, veggie-heavy salad bowl for lunch or a low-sugar, vitamin-packed smoothie for breakfast. This will set you up with stable blood sugar levels for later in the day when the heavier meal begins.
Eating Healthy During The Holidays? Send a Take-Home Plate With Your Guests
If holiday foods seem to linger in your fridge for weeks (and you feel guilty about not finishing it) preempt weeks-long temptation by sending your party guests packing with a takeaway plate! Not only is it courteous (a few extra days of not cooking) it gets all of the decadent leftovers out of your house. There are also many healthy foods you can spin off thanksgiving leftovers (turkey noodle soup, anyone?)
Remember To Enjoy Your Holidays and Ditch The Food Guilt
Here at Cathedral Oaks Athletic Club, we wish you a full, safe, and healthy holiday season filled with all the things and people you love! Our staff is here to support your fitness and nutrition goals year-round. So if hiring a personal trainer or getting some nutritional counsel is on your list of things to do for the new year, reach out to us! Or gift a favorite person in your life a membership with us. There’s so much to enjoy here.