So I know when most people think of eating during holidays most likely Thanksgiving comes to mind–course after course of bread, turkey, potatoes, pies…you name it! Next would be followed by Christmas, but really any holiday can bring celebrating with good food and, well, let’s be real lots of it! I have a few short tips on staying healthy during any holiday event or celebration, that will still allow you to enjoy your time. It’s important to spend time celebrating and having fun, but I also want to help you make the healthiest choices for your life too!
1. Don’t save it all for the one event/meal
What I mean by this is, make sure you eat throughout the day before the event. A lot of people will try and skip meals or not eat (think esp. before thanksgiving) before the event thinking they are saving their appetite and calories to enjoy the meal. But, what really happens is you get so hungry that once you get there you are almost uncontrollable, grabbing everything in sight, especially more of the not-so-healthy goodies like sugary treats, chips, junk, etc. and you actually end up way overeating and probably not feeling so hot. You don’t have to eat a lot beforehand so that you aren’t hungry at all, but make sure you eat normal meals and/or snacks so that you aren’t ravenous!
2. Make Healthier Choices Earlier
Most celebrations are at night, but even if they are earlier in the day this can still apply. Don’t just think that it’s a holiday so let’s go crazy and throw healthy out the window all day. While, yes you could do that, it won’t be very beneficial, helpful, or healthy for you or your body! Instead aim to make healthier choice for your meals and snacks prior to the event. Get lean protein, veggie and rice in at lunch or eggs or oatmeal at breakfast. Snack on fruits and veggies. This will all help your digestive system and your overall health by doing so. Then, you can splurge and enjoy yourself a little at the actual event.
3. Choose healthy options at the actual event
Healthy choices shouldn’t be made just prior to the event. And no, I am not saying forgo the delicious burger, chips, or sweet treats. Instead, try having a plate of raw or cooked veggies and fruit before your actual meal. Then, go for a little of the other stuff. This will help you feel better after eating so much and help you digest better than if you just ate all junk the whole time. If nothing like that is usually available, maybe you volunteer or sign-up to bring that! So while yes holidays are definitely meant to be enjoyed, a) healthy choices are still delicious and tasty and b) completely throwing everything out the window and indulging all day or event can lead to guilty feelings and unhealthy habits over the long haul.
4. Get Moving
No, I am not saying to go run after you’re stuffed to the brim with delicious food. But before the event, go for a walk, light jog, get a lift in, take a class, etc. to get some movement in. And this is not because you have to “burn off your food” or “workout to deserve to indulge”. For one, on holidays most people sit around more so it’s good to have some movement in. Plus, you won’t feel so stuffed and bad (health wise, not mentally) if you got a light workout in. Again, these tips are meant to help you with your overall health and how you are feeling!
So there are my quick tips for having a healthy holiday! Don’t stress if you don’t follow these completely, get a lot of movement in, or end up completely overindulging. One (or even a few) days like this will not hurt or hinder your progress! But, part of living a healthy lifestyle isn’t just eating healthy and working out, it’s about making healthier choices in every aspect of our daily lives in order to live and be the best we can be and give our bodies the healthy treatment they deserve!