Sunday, November 23, 2014

A Complete Guide to Eating Right on Thanksgiving:

The holidays are probably the hardest time for anyone to stick to a "diet".  Honestly though, I hate that term. So my first tip is to stop calling it a diet. Start calling it "eating according to your goals", and you may be surprised how much easier it is to make better decisions!

I want to take a second to also pass on something I learned. In your meal plan, everything is allowed. You're not a 2-year-old trying to sneak food in the pantry. You're a grown-up. So don't feel like you have to "sneak food" or feel bad about what you are eating. Everything is allowed, but not everything is beneficial.

With that being said, I know it is hard to resist your family favorites that you only get a few times a year. Don't worry - I'm not suggesting you should. The list that follows is a list of how to enjoy your holidays without wrecking your nutrition. It is a list of tips that will help you keep portions and urges in check. These always help me, so I know if you use them they will help you eat according to your goals, too!

Drink water: This should be something you are doing everyday, but especially times that you are tempted to eat unhealthy! Drink a glass of water 20-30 minutes before you sit down to eat. This will help keep you from over-eating!

Portions: Again, this is something you could be doing daily but is important on occasions when you have a huge buffet to select from. If you can go through and eat a plate full of healthy things first, you won't feel so guilty about the pie you eat later! Fill 50% of your plate up with veggies, 25% of protein, and 25% other stuff.

If you're really pushing to keep up the healthy goals, so 75% veggies, 25% protein -- and if you are still craving something else go back and get a small portion!

Bring a healthy appetizer:
Most people who host have the essentials of the meal covered, but appreciate someone else bringing an appetizer. Control your pre-meal (or post-meal) munchies by bringing a veggie tray (with hummus) or another healthy appetizer. This will ensure that you have a good option to choose from! Want some healthy appetizer recipes? Check out my previous post for some great ideas!

Cut the dessert in half
: I'm not saying don't eat pumpkin pie.  Holidays are about celebrating and relaxing. It's no fun to give up "all your favs" while watching everyone else enjoy them. So go for it! Just be mindful of the size. Cut a piece in half or share it with someone. After a plate full of veggies and protein, you'll be surprised how much resistance you'll be able to have!

Gum: Do you hang around and watch football before or after the meal? Do you have some holiday movie traditions you sit around and watch while mindlessly snacking? Those snacks can really get out of hand! Bring some gum (even the dessert flavored kind!) to keep your mouth busy, get your sugar fix in, and help you resist the chip bowl!
Stay Active: Can you toss a ball around with a family member while waiting for the turkey to roast? Play tag with the kids? Help clean up the kitchen or set the table? Go on a walk or take the kids to a park? What about an active WII game? Do what you can to avoid sitting around in front of food and trying your best not to eat it.

Eat a healthy breakfast
: For me, a healthy breakfast sets the tone for the day. Just as one bad decision makes it easier to make other bad decisions, one healthy decision encourages other healthy decisions throughout the day. Try a few eggs, a veggie omelete or some fresh fruit for breakfast!