Holiday festivities are always guaranteed to involve food, and lots of it. It’s no wonder that our New Year’s resolutions usually involve opening a gym membership and swearing off sugar. But not to fear, if you come to the feast prepared with a healthy mindset and a few strategies to avoid overindulgence, there is no reason for you to not thoroughly enjoy the holiday goodies.
Don’t Fast to Prepare for a Big Dinner
Eat normal meals throughout the holidays. Skipping breakfast and lunch before a big dinner could lead to overeating. Keep vegetables and whole grains in your regular diet, so you won’t succumb to the less nutritious temptations.
Start With the Healthy Stuff
Fill up on the healthy plates first– starting with a soup, especially broth-based instead of creamy, is a great way to fill up before the cheesy mashed potatoes and pies.
Choose what you want to treat yourself to: that pie your aunt makes only once a year, the double chocolate truffles. Allowing the one indulgence and saying no to the cheese cubes will leave you feeling better at the end of the night.
Overdo it with the cheesecake? A study published in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology notes that people who had an attitude of forgiveness and self-compassion after one high-calorie setback were less likely to give up and keep bingeing. So instead of beating yourself up over it, acknowledge it and forgive yourself.
Pop the Champagne Well Before Bed
Though it might make you sleepy initially, alcohol begins to metabolize in your system a few hours after consumption, disrupting your sleep. So hold off on the drinks at least a couple of hours before you go to sleep.
You Can Take a Break from the Gym
…but not from activity: even if it’s cleaning or running through the mall with shopping bags in hand, build activity into your daily life. And, once you do set those New Year’s resolutions to exercise regularly, remember to start slow and to find others who will keep you accountable.
Enjoy this month’s holiday festivities without stress or guilt, and come out of the season ready to tackle the New Year. What’s your favorite holiday recipe? Share with us in the comments below!
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