Merry Christmas, everyone! It’s that time of the year! Time to remember and celebrate Jesus’ birth, see friends and loved ones, gift giving, travel, and food, food, food.
Have you ever noticed that people associate food with just about every holiday, especially Christmas? We have had so many cookies, treats, candies, cakes, and other yummy delicacies this past week at work. My husband and I have come home laden with chocolate treats and caramel corn. It’s crazy. You know, we don’t get treats like this for Fourth of July or even Thanksgiving. It’s just at Christmas. Not to mention the many family gatherings everyone goes to where there is – you guessed it – food.
So what’s a healthy girl to do? I don’t try to pretend like I have all the answers, but I can at least tell you what I plan to do. Maybe you can take some of these tips and apply them to your own eating and celebration habits this Holiday Weekend.
1. I plan on keeping my plate 3/4 vegetables and 1/4 meat. Period. I heard about this tip in a parenting magazine, and I tried it out the other week at a wedding reception. I was pleasantly surprised at how well it worked. I have thought in the past that meat = what makes me full. Meat isn’t unhealthy, but it does pack a lot of protein and contains zero fiber. While you need protein, you also need the nutrients of vegetables to make sure your body stays in working order. If your plate contains 3/4 vegetables, you will be consuming the vitamins, minerals, and fiber needed to promote healthy digestion, while still getting the protein you need from the meat. I came away from my “trial plate” as full as can be, thanks to the fiber.
2. Try to cut back on the sweets. I know you hear this a lot, and no one wants to hear it, but it’s necessary, I think. A huge platefull of dessert most likely contains enough calories to substitute a meal, and after the calories you’ve just consumed at your holiday dinner, you don’t need to continue piling on the calories, not to mention the sugar. Small portions of sweets are enough to satisfy your sweet tooth without adding too many unnecessary foodstuffs.
3. Drink lots of water. 80 oz. a day is recommended. Keeping water in your body will keep things moving through your digestive system, giving it less time to sit and have more calories absorbed into your body. Water also helps you feel full, so if you don’t mind skipping to your loo later, you can drink a good bit before dinnertime to ensure you don’t overeat.
These are the three tips I’m going to keep in mind as I celebrate the holidays with my family in the coming week. I think, with these tips, you too may have a less guilty Christmas (if you’re prone to that like I have been) knowing that you have done well to try and stay healthy. I think you’ll feel better, too!