by Blake Herzog
We’re all about trying to eat as healthfully as we can. Then we run into the holiday season when filling half your plate with nonstarchy vegetables feels like sacrilege during a month traditionally organized around eating large meals and sugary treats.
Trying to stay on track sounds daunting, but once we break it down into steps it gets easier.
Eat your vegetables first
It’s easy to go straight for mom’s carb-loaded stuffing or other once-a-year delights, but getting your greens first guarantees consumption of all those crucial nutrients and can help fill you up before you dig into the heavy stuff.
Don’t skip any meals
Skipping meals puts your hunger on a collision course with whatever you’re presented with at dinnertime.
At least incorporate two or three healthy snacks leading up to the holiday feast to take the edge off your hunger.
Take time to savor
When you do devour one of those holiday treats or desserts, do it slowly, taking time to observe the taste, smell and fabulous feeling it gives you. You want to be able to recall the experience later on after the holidays are over and you’re not likely to be eating that confection till next year.
Stick with calorie-free standbys such as water and seltzer, coffee and tea as much as you can.
Besides the damage alcohol can do directly in excess amounts, alcohol also impairs your judgement with food choices. Alternate it with water or use mixers to dull this effect.
Even nonalcoholic drinks can be dangerously high in sugar. Beware.
Work some of it off
These holiday gatherings tend to be marathons, so make sure you carve out at least a little time for a brisk walk to aid your digestion and blood sugar regulation. Get as many people involved as you can — organize a family run, hike or bike ride, or rope everyone into a vigorous video or board game!
Don’t kick yourself
Everyone is prone to slipping up at least a little. Don’t feel guilty, and don’t use it as a reason to backslide further.