Healthy for the Holidays
Eggnog and punch bowls, carb rich potato and noodle dishes, stuffed turkeys and whole hams, and all the pies and appetizers, the holidays are upon us. This tends to be a time of guilt and unhealthy eating for any dieter looking to keep fit through the holidays, and it’s hard to keep saying no despite pressures from society and family to try the food they’ve spent hours preparing. With the right diet program designed with the knowledge that eating doesn’t have to be saying “no” to everything you love, the holidays aren’t a time of hardship anymore. Diets like The Cruise Control Diet understand that people need their cheat foods or they risk going off the diet altogether, binging on everything they denied themselves and sabotaging all the progress made. Finding the diet that works regardless the time of year is really the key to success long-term.
Many sites dedicated to healthy living post healthy recipes online that can be used every day, but also during the holidays. Sites like The Mayo Clinic who offer featured recipes and have divided things into categories per servings, course, meal and preparation methods can be just the thing to spark inspiration.
There’s also the well known recipe site, allrecipes.com that covers absolutely anything your mind can dream up to eat or drink and they have a very comprehensive list of items that are healthy as well as tasty and the bonus is that people who have made them can rate the quality of the recipe using a 5 star rating, making it easy to make foods that are not just easy and tasty, but will wow the family.
The site Greatist.com lives up to it’s lofty name in so many ways. It offers a link to 400 cheap and healthy recipes that take less than 20 minutes prep time, and have 8 or less ingredients. This makes it easy and more importantly, affordable to eat healthy. That link for the 400 recipes can be found here. Also notice that on their sidebar, there are listings for so much more. There’s 77 healthy slow-cooker recipes so you can start your meal and leave for work, there’s 29 easy and healthy meals for when you’re eating alone, 52 entire meals that can be made in 12 minutes or less and so much more it’s astounding. Sites like these make it easy and cheap to eat more nutritionally balanced meals for you and your family while never sacrificing taste.
There’s many other ways you can stay healthy through the holidays with just a few quick tips as well. Here are 6 of our favorites:
- Stay hydrated. Keep that bottle of water with you even when you’re visiting family for holiday meals. Keeping yourself full and hydrated with water will curb unnecessary hunger pains and keep you feeling well.
- Avoid over-eating. Give yourself time between meals to let your body register that its full. Eating a mint between meals, or just sitting to chat for a while between the courses is a great way to give your body time to tell you that you don’t need to eat more.
- Don’t be guilted into eating more than you should. Family is typically terrible about understanding your need to lose weight and stay healthy when they’ve spent hours cooking and want nothing more than your approval. Try to get them to understand that you can try bites of everything, but not full helpings of everything in a bid to stay on your diet. If they understand that they’re being helpful, they’re less likely to enable you to “fall off the wagon” while visiting.
- Be aware of sauces. Things like gravy and other dressings are so full of fat and extra calories and they don’t add so much to the dish that they’re necessary. If you must use the gravy, pour lightly. Avoid adding anything unnecessary to the heavy holiday meals, and choose portions that are small. A small portion for dessert is around the same size as a deck of cards, for meats it’s the size of your fist and for things with a lot of carbs like potatoes and stuffing, it should be half the depth of the average coffee cup.
- Get plenty of sleep. Most people get very stressed or anxious during this time of year, which leads to poor sleep. Poor sleep disrupts your natural Circadian rhythm and that disruption can lead to packing on extra fat instead of turning on the metabolic burners. See about having a family member or friend exchange a back massage with you. Working out tense or tired muscles is a great way to relax despite the hectic pace of the holiday season.
- Don’t drink anything you can’t see through. Coffee counts because before cream and sugar are added it’s transparent (if dark), same with tea, and juices are fine as long as they’re also clear like apple juice or cranberry juice. Be aware of the high natural sugar content inherent in fructose with juices however. Drinking anything that is not clear generally means excess calories to the extreme. Eggnog alone has more calories in one serving than an entire meal. Punch (depending on the additions) can be just as bad. If you must imbibe alcohol during the trip to family, go lightly as alcohol carries many calories that our bodies just cannot use.
Wrapping up the healthful holiday advise is more goodness in a tiny package. These two links:
From leaders in online health, and offer something truly extraordinary for your entertaining pleasures. They both have recipes for holiday appetizers and meals that are good for you and taste like they’re NOT good for you. They help provide ways to excite and astound the visiting family and friends, without putting extra inches on their waistlines (or yours!) and that might just be the best gift of all.