Fall brings many changes. The weather becomes colder, the leaves begin to turn color, and fall kickstarts the seemingly endless holiday season. With these holidays, we tend to over-indulge on food and goodies that we normally wouldn’t. From endless candy and pumpkin-spiced everything around Halloween time, big feasts for Thanksgiving, and cookie trays at Christmas parties, it’s hard to not fall into unhealthy eating habits- but it’s not impossible. Here are some tips to combat over-indulging on unhealthy food during the holidays!
Choose indulgences carefully:
Now we’re not saying to completely cut out unhealthy food during the holidays, but it’s important to pick what you do indulge in carefully. Sometimes we eat unhealthy food just because it’s there and there’s an abundance of it. Be selective in what you do eat and eat it slowly. This way, you won’t get over-stuffed and uncomfortable, but you still get to eat your tasty favorites.
Limit the alcohol:
The holidays can be a popular time for drinking. Whether you’re going to a party or just received yet another bottle of wine as a gift, it’s hard to not indulge in sugary drinks. If you choose to have an adult beverage, a good way to limit your intake is to alternate between alcohol and water. If you typically drink soda, you can also use sparkling water as a mixer for your drinks. This will reduce your calorie and sugar intake drastically.
Keep track of what you eat:
The best way to track if you’re over-indulging in food, is by writing down what you’re eating each day. Food-tracking apps are a great way to keep you aware of what you’re eating to ensure you don’t over-indulge. You can easily track and update the app throughout the day and evaluate if it seems like you’re eating too much.
Don’t go to a party on an empty stomach:
Holiday parties are known to have multiple courses of food. There’s appetizers, dips, dinner, dessert, and more. Make sure to never go to a holiday party starving, or else you may want to reach for everything you see. Eat a light meal or a snack beforehand to limit over-consumption. You’ll thank yourself later.
Stay active the day of:
It can be easy to fall into a slump as the weather gets colder and life gets busier with the holidays. Try your best to maintain a workout routine that fits the season. You can stay fit in the fall by walking outside and going ice skating during the winter. When you do have a holiday gathering where you know there’s going to be a lot of tempting food, prepare ahead and plan your workout earlier that day. It’ll make you feel better about what you do eat and also make up for some of the unhealthy food you do eat.
Make food swaps:
Many of our favorite recipes can be swapped and you’d hardly notice the difference in taste. One simple ingredient swap, like greek yogurt instead of sour cream, can make a huge difference in the healthiness of a dish. For Thanksgiving, you can still eat your favorites, like mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, turkey, and casseroles, but with a few easy swaps, you can cut the calories in half.
Don’t get too comfortable:
Oftentimes, when we know we’re going to a holiday event where there’s going to be a lot of food, we wear something more comfortable. Whether it’s wearing leggings and a baggy sweater to a party or sweatpants at Thanksgiving dinner, we’re actually setting ourselves up to over-indulge. Wear something that you feel comfortable in, but not something that gives you too much extra room to eat too much. For women, you can wear sweater dresses with a belt, and for men, you can wear a nice button-up or a stylish, slim-cut suit.
It’s normal to fall into temptation during the holiday season, but it doesn’t mean you have to. Get ahead of everyone and make your resolution to be healthier now. By following these 7 tips, you’re on your way to look and feel your best.