Navigating Through the Holidays
The holidays get a bad reputation when it comes to eating and our health. We tend to make comments like, “Oh, I will wait until after the holidays to start eating better,” or “ I don’t want to feel deprived and I want to eat what I want. It’s a holiday- I deserve it”. You do not have to give into these sabotaging thoughts. Prioritize your health over holiday foods.
Whether you are participating in a weight management program or not, you should not have to feel like you are missing out. It’s often helpful to look at food in a different way. Focus on celebrating and spending time with loved ones and giving thanks. Yes, food is included in the festivities, but don’t feel pressured and anxious when it comes to food selection.
A common dilemma we come across is whether to eat breakfast on a holiday when a larger meal is on the menu. You might find yourself saying, “I’ll just skip breakfast and make up for it later at dinner”. While fasting works great for some, that approach will not work best before a holiday feast. Below are some suggestions to help you navigate meal timing throughout the day with a larger meal in the forecast.
- Eat a light breakfast in the morning. This will allow you to fuel your body but also not feel ravenous when dinner comes around.
- If overeating is a concern, try having a small snack a couple hours before you sit down to eat.
- Pick and choose your battles. If you want to splurge and have a small slice of pie, then be mindful with your portions and choices during the main meal.
- Look for recipes that fit within your current weight management plan. Bring those dishes to your gatherings so that you can enjoy and share with others in the process.
You do not have to limit yourself from the foods you enjoy during the holidays. As long as you stick to a whole foods approach and incorporate a protein and fibrous vegetables into your dinner plans, you will reap all the dietary benefits and feel empowered about your choices.
Dietary Tip: Be cautious of protein amounts as too much protein consumed can act like a carb and spike your blood glucose.
Fact: A study showed that the extra pounds you put on between Halloween and Christmas can take more than five months to lose.
Awareness Challenge this week: Visualize what your Healthy Holiday will look like and experiment with trying something new and active with the family or making a healthy dish.
Tune in next time; we’ll discuss Emotional VS Physical Hunger.
In the meantime, if you’d like to know more about living a healthier lifestyle, reach out to us for our professional guidance and support. Give us a call!
Special occasions come and go, but good health stays with you forever.
By: Dr. Ashley Lucas, PhD and R.D.
Blog Photo Credit: Realmomnutrition.com
Cover Photo Credit: Intermountain Healthcare