”I saw few die of hunger; of eating, a hundred thousand.” –Benjamin Franklin
This is a survival guide to maintaining health, balancing blood sugar and not gaining weight in a season harboring temptations at every turn. It is possible to be healthy at this time of year! All it takes is heeding a bit of advice, staying true to your health goals and a bit of preparation.
Here are 7 tips to eating well during the holidays (with some indulgences):
#1. Eat a healthy meal before you attend a party. Have you ever gone grocery shopping on an empty stomach? Well, multiply that disastrous result by ten because party foods are high-calorie and ready to eat.
#2. If #1 is not possible, eat a piece of fruit, some nuts/seeds, or a raw food energy bar before going. These are portable, so you can easily carry them with you.
#3. Ensure that you are well hydrated before and during a party. Thirst can be mistaken for hunger. A US study found that people who drank just 2 glasses of water before each meal ate less food, shed more pounds and kept the weight off.
#4. Bring something delicious you can eat and share. Think guacamole with organic corn chips, homemade hummus with carrot and celery sticks, a veggie tray, fruit kebabs. The guests will appreciate a fresh dish. Try my Happy Heart Hummus for a raw, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free recipe.
#5. Start your grazing with veggies and proteins first. Fill up on these foods to improve blood sugar control and satiety while maximizing nutrient intake.
#6. Try to avoid alcohol as it increases appetite and damages blood sugar control. To avoid the social pressure to consume alcohol, have a drink in your hand all night: water with lemon or tea and sip on it. Be sure to stay topped up! If you choose to have alcohol, have only 1 drink and sip it. Intersperse sips of alcohol with sips of water, staying conscious about your appetite control.
#7. If you are going to have dessert, instead of trying everything, be selective and choose one delectable morsel. If the portion is large, take only a piece of the dessert or better yet, share it!
Have a happy and healthy holiday season!
Set yourself up for success with honest answers to these simple questions:
- What is my usual eating pattern at holiday parties?
- Do I have time to eat a meal in advance or should I bring a healthy snack instead?
- What tip do I need to stick to the most to stay fit during the holidays?