With Thanksgiving behind us and the holiday season ahead of us, a lot of times we find ourselves faced with the battle of the holiday party. Studies show that the average American gains 1-2 pounds during the holiday season. This may not seem like a lot, but for many of us, those are extra pounds that we don’t lose after the season has come and gone. Follow these simple substitutes to your usual holiday party routine.
- Don’t skip breakfast or lunch. This year, make sure that you are eating meals to prevent overeating at parties. Your meals should be loaded with nutritious foods like fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains. When you go long periods of time without eating, you can drive yourself to overeat at the party. Think of your metabolism as a fire that you need to keep burning all day. Just like feeding wood to a fire to keep it going, you need to feed yourself with nutritious foods to keep you going. When you skip meals you are keeping logs off the fire. You need to keep your metabolism going throughout the day by eating regular meals.
- Make ½ your plate fruits and veggies. Most holiday parties will have a veggie or fruit tray (usually the last thing to go). Try adding these to your plate along with some of your favorites to help bulk up your plate without bulking up your calories. Fruits and vegetables also provide an excellent source fiber which can help make you feel full to avoid overeating.
- Don’t skip the exercise. When we have extra things to do in the day, like holiday parties, it can be even harder to fit in a quick exercise. That being said, these parties are all the more reason to get an exercise in, even for 20 minutes! Every little bit helps. 20 minutes or vigorous exercise can help burn that extra cookie you threw in your mouth at the end of the night.
- Watch the cocktails. Cocktails can be a downfall to our waistlines if we are not careful. Many times we do not think of drinks having calories when in all actuality they can have more than the sweets sitting on the desert table. Eggnog can have upwards of 250 calories and 11 grams of fat. If this is one of your favorites, watch the portion size. Lighter holiday options could be 1 oz vodka with a splash of cranberry juice, a glass or red wine, or a light beer.
Have a great Holiday Season full of friends, family, good food, and good health. Keep posted to Simple Substitutions for more tips to get you through the holiday season feeling better than ever and ready to take on the New Year. Cheers!