Holiday Nutrition Tips
It’s December so that means its time for some Holiday Nutrition Tips! It is hard to stay true to your health & fitness goals during the Holidays. This became all too apparent this weekend as I had two work parties. Temptations galore! Large quantities of food & very few healthy options. The busyness of this season coupled with the stress of work deadlines & finding the “perfect” gift just adds to the craziness & difficulty of sticking to healthy habits. Therefore, I wanted to offer my holiday nutrition tips.
Holiday Nutrition Tips: The Shopping Mall & Holiday Parties
I know after a busy day of shopping, I am usually tired, stressed & definitely famished! Just as you realize your hunger, the mall food court looms with its tempting quick fix. Within a span of minutes you can undo your calorie goals of the day. Did you know that having to make decisions diminishes people’s willpower? So all the gift decisions you face will make you that much more vulnerable to temptation at the food court. Therefore, here are my mall holiday nutrition tips.
Holiday Nutrition Tips: Pack Snacks
- Fresh fruit — apple, pear, banana
- Homemade trail mix: 30 pistachios or 24 almonds, two dried plums or apricots
- P90X protein bar
- Babybel cheese
- Whole-grain crackers
Holiday Nutrition Tips: Choose Food Wisely
If you didn’t get it together to bring your food for the day, be particular about your choices. Just as you would shop for sales and bargains, use the same strategy to check out all the food offerings. Here are a few holiday nutrition tips:
- Salads with vegetables and grilled meats, topped lightly with vinaigrette or low-calorie dressing.
- Grilled chicken or turkey sandwiches (no mayo)
- Nonfat frozen yogurt or sorbet
- Asian vegetable and chicken stir-fry (make sure the chicken isn’t breaded)
- Fruit and yogurt parfait
- Low-fat broth- or vegetable-based soup
Holiday Nutrition Tips: Avoid Falling for the Scarcity Trap
I found it interesting that there is actually an economic theory called the scarcity principle that explains why we’re such pushovers for holiday treats. Items we perceive as being in limited supply seem more desirable to us than non-scarce items. Makes sense & now I realize how often I have fallen for the “limited-time” only special. I know when Fall comes along I get excited for the “pumpkin spice” items & it goes from there! Starbucks totally does this! (i.e Gingerbread Latte with whipped cream has 320 calories, 13 grams of fat, 50 milligrams of cholesterol, 40 grams of carbs, and 37 grams of sugar). Yikes!
That is as many calories are a full meal & an unhealthy one. Do you really want to spend a fifth of your daily calories on a drink? I know I don’t! These Holiday-themed coffee drinks & sweets are often higher in calories than regular ones, so it’s safer to stick to the basics & these holiday nutrition tips.
Holiday Nutrition Tips:
- Add your own cinnamon to your every day coffee or drizzle your own vanilla or peppermint extract.
- Split the drink or snack with a friend if you absolutely need to have it. You both will get to enjoy this indulgence with half the calories.
Holiday Nutrition Tips: The Party
Holiday parties are one of the hardest to events to stay on track. I know the past two days have been a challenge for me. Some of these holiday nutrition tips helped me stick to my healthy eating.
- Don’t skip meals. Before leaving for a party, eat a light snack like raw vegetables or a piece of fruit to curb your appetite. You will be less tempted to over-indulge.
- Survey party buffets before filling your plate. Choose your favorite foods & skip your least favorite. Include vegetables & fruits to keep your plate balanced. I typically fill my plate with veggies first.
- Bring your own healthy dish
- Eat until you are satisfied, not stuffed. Savor your favorite holiday treats while eating small portions. Sit down, get comfortable, & enjoy.
- Do NOT mingle at the buffet table!!
Overall Holiday Nutrition Tips: Enjoy & Do NOT Freak Out
Moderation is key, but there are going to be days you overindulge. Do NOT freak out. It happens to us ALL. If you overeat at one meal go light on the next. It takes 500 calories per day (or 3,500 calories per week) above your normal/maintenance consumption to gain one pound. It is impossible to gain weight from one piece of pie! Reread these holiday nutrition tips & be prepared for your next outing or party.
These holiday nutrition tips can help you make smarter nutrition choices, but make sure to schedule time for exercise as well! The BEST holiday tip to not gain weight during the holidays is to stay active! Whether its walk, a run, a P90X or Insanity workout, just make time to exercise. I often find that I utilize the ten minute trainer a lot during the holiday season. These 10-minute workouts help me stay consistent with my exercise even when pressed for time. I have found that my challenger group members even lose weight during the holidays because they have the support of other group members, accountability to their nutrition and exercise, fewer cravings due to drinking Shakeology and my one on one support. These groups are run monthly and often have a waiting list (I keep the groups small on purpose) so contact me or sign up here. I wish you all a healthy and safe holiday season! I hope these holiday nutrition tips help! Please comment below with your thoughts on the above tips and tips of your own!