By Emma Laskey - Reboot Nutrition Ambassador
The holiday season is almost here and for some it may be a time where sticking to a healthy eating or weight loss plan is even more difficult. The heavy meals and tempting desserts are ubiquitous at work functions, family parties and every place in between. Here are some helpful tips to stay happy and healthy this Thanksgiving and holiday season!
Don’t Go Hungry: Skipping meals (think: breakfast, lunch) in preparation for a day like Thanksgiving can get you into trouble later. This is for two reasons: one, our metabolism hasn’t been fully awakened by our usual breakfast, so it remains at a lull; and two, we are more likely to overindulge later on.
Bring Something Healthy: If you have a feeling that where you’re going will have a menu heavy on the butter-laden potatoes and gravy, offer to bring a big salad or vegetable dish for everyone to enjoy. This way you can make it any way you desire, and don’t have to worry about a lack of a healthy option to turn to when everyone around you is loading up their plates!
Fill Up on Veggies: By filling up half of your plate with vegetables, the host or hostess won’t notice your passing on their Grandmother’s creamy casserole dish! And even if they do, there’s always the polite response of “I don’t have much room, so I’ll just try a little bit!” This way you can try bites of the hearty dishes, but don’t feel as though you have to eat an entire portion.
Get Up from the Table: Once you are finished eating, and everyone around you is winding down their meal as well, get up and offer to bring your (and anyone else’s) plate to the kitchen sink. The longer that plate is in front of you, the harder it will be to avoid going back for more! Remove yourself from the appetizer area and mingle with those far away from the snacks to curb mindless eating!
Indulge a Little Bit: Total deprivation is not a fun way to spend Thanksgiving! If you think you can handle small portions (without being triggered to go back for more!), then go ahead and take a small piece of your favorite pie for dessert. Just remember, once you are done eating, get up from the table to avoid going for more.
Stick to Low Calorie Drinks: Things like sodas, sparkling cider and juices are full of calories and may work against you in your mission to not overindulge. Drinking these kinds of fluids will give you calories, but won’t trigger your internal satiety cues, keeping you hungry while increasing your calorie intake for the day. Stick to water or a zero-calorie drink like seltzer with a splash of your favorite drink for a little flavor.
Minimize Alcohol Intake: Alcohol can work against you in two ways: 1.)By increasing your calorie intake; and 2.) By lowering your inhibitions. Alcohol has calories (7 calories per gram; one light beer has about 12 grams of alcohol), and mixers usually contain more calories. The other downside is that having some alcohol in your system may make it a bit more difficult to stick with your plan-of-attack!
Give away leftovers: If you are hosting the party, be generous in giving away leftovers to other guests as they are leaving. The longer the food is around, the greater the opportunity to eat it! If you didn’t host, avoid taking left overs home, period.
I hope these tips make it easier to navigate the upcoming holiday season. Most importantly, don’t be discouraged if you lost one day of your Rebooted lifestyle. Start the next day with a “back-at-it” mindset, and you’ll make it through the season just fine!