Holiday season is here and Thanksgiving and Christmas can leave us with 5 to 10 extra pounds around our hips that we could live without. When the New Year rolls around, we feel guilty and defeated. All our hard work exercising and eating healthy through the year goes out the window in two months.
Here are some tips for surviving the holidays:
– Start your day with an 8 ounce glass of water with lemon to prepare your digestive system for food. Follow up with water 30 minutes before each meal. Dehydration can feel like hunger and the best way to avoid becoming dehydrated is to drink plenty of water.
– Do not skip meals. Eat a healthy breakfast that is no less than 350 calories. Egg whites are great because they are low in calories and high in protein, making them a great food for those watching their weight. Egg whites are an inexpensive source of complete protein, meaning they provide all the amino acids the body cannot produce on its own. During the holiday season, eat less fruit and fill up with protein and vegetables. Fruit has natural sugar, but it is still sugar. Go easy on carbohydrates. If you are a vegetarian, slow down on the cheese and bread.
– Eat small meals containing foods you love. You do not want to feel deprived. Eat a small piece of what you love and fill up on protein and vegetables, wait three hours and go dig in for seconds. Make sure your seconds are single servings (1 cup equals a single serving). When you are tempted by those delicious deserts, choose the one with the least amount of calories and only have a single serving.
– Stay away from mixed alcoholic drinks. They contain more sugar, which is more calories. Limit yourself to two drinks. Alcohol is packed with sugar and has no nutritional value, which equals wasted calories. Also, drink a glass of water before you drink alcohol and in between drinks to slow down your alcohol consumption.
– Eat high-fiber foods before the party or big dinner. When you have a party to attend, snack on some fiber-filled foods just before you go. Fiber helps you feel full, and if you aren’t feeling so hungry, you might not eat so much at the party. Choose foods like low-calorie vegetables, a small salad, a piece of fresh fruit, a small bowl of oatmeal, 1 cup air popped popcorn, almonds, or cashews.
– Pace yourself and slow down. When friends and family gather at a meal, the food is usually piled high on plates. You wolf down the first plate and choose more of your favorites to gobble down as second helpings. It takes a few minutes for your brain to realize your stomach is getting full, and you can eat a lot of extra food in those few minutes. Relax and enjoy the flavor of each mouthful. Chew each bite thoroughly before you swallow. Savor every moment with friends, family and the wonderful food. Remember, it is a meal, not a race to see who can eat the fastest.
– Store healthy snacks at work. Resist the high-calorie holiday treats brought in by co-workers and customers. These treats are tasty but rarely healthy. Snack on nuts or dried fruits. If you’re going to indulge in a holiday goody, ensure it is not everyday.
– Don’t linger, avoid temptation. Prepare your shopping list before you go into a store or shop to buy food or candy. Also, make sure you have eaten and you are not shopping in hunger mode. Temptation seems to double itself when you are hungry. You may think you are going into the coffee shop for a cup of coffee, but when you see that delicious mocha with whipped cream and peppermint sprinkles, you decide you want that instead. Stick to your shopping list.
It is hard to avoid overeating during the holidays, so don’t beat yourself up if you fall off track now and then. Take good care of yourself and remember maintaining a healthy diet throughout the holidays takes discipline and practice. Forgive yourself and make sure your next meal or snack is healthy. You can do it!
Below is a healthy, low-calorie dessert that will fill your tummy and quench that craving for high fat desserts. Have a great tip or recipe for avoiding those holiday pounds? Drop it in the comments section below. Happy Holidays!
Mini Sweet Potato Bites from the Fortitude Bistro
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 45
5 medium sweet potatoes
1/2 cup raw honey
1/2 cup sweet condensed milk
Pinch of Himalayan Sea Salt
2 egg whites
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 fresh lemon
1/2 stick butter (softened)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 ground nutmeg
2 tbsp ground cinnamon
Cupcake cups (optional)
Place peeled, sliced sweet potatoes in large pot of boiling water. Squeeze lemon juice in water and cook until potatoes are soft. Remove from heat and smash sweet potatoes in bowl.
Add butter and mix well. Stir in honey, milk, salt, egg whites, vanilla, baking soda, nutmeg and cinnamon. Mix on medium speed until mixture is smooth.
Pour filling into muffin tin or tin with cups (cups optional).
Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes, or until inserted toothpick comes out clean. Muffins will puff up like a soufflé and sink down as they cool. Allow to cool for 20 minutes. Top with whip cream and serve.
Calories per serving (2): 151
Protein: 3.5 grams
Total fat: 2.3 grams
Total carbohydrates: 17 grams