The time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s is a popular season to get together with friends and family. There are generally many wonderful dinners, festive parties, and, of course, tons of sweets—all for the delicious taking. It’s a time of temptation overload, leading many to wonder if they can really continue to eat clean while they also enjoy the holidays. And the answer is a resounding, “Yes!”
It may take a little work and a whole lot of commitment, but it can be done. To help assist you on your journey, I’ve compiled the following six tips for a season of celebration … and clean eating.
1. Don’t Party Hungry
It may sound strange to eat before going to a gathering with family or friends (especially when food will likely be spread out in large, beautiful displays), but similar to how grocery shopping while you’re hungry can lead to impulse spending, showing up to a party or gathering already hungry can lead to poor eating decisions. So, before you leave the house, grab for some fruit or nuts. These high-in-fiber choices will take the edge off your hunger before leaving the house. This way, you are far less likely to grab the first unhealthy thing you see when you get there.
2. Make a Plan … and Stick to It
Take some time to map out a pre-game (or in this case, a pre-party) plan. Try to eat as close to your normal eating times as possible to keep your blood sugar regulated and prevent any undesirable crashing. If it can’t be a full meal, an appetizer of veggies, a handful of nuts, or a piece of fruit as a snack will keep you relatively full until it is time to sit and eat. Also, while the hustle and bustle of the season may cause you to lose track of time, do your best not to skip meals. Skipping meals is the same as not eating at your normal time—your blood sugar levels will not appreciate the neglect.
Attending a gathering outside of your home can be tricky in terms of food choices. One great way around this is to offer to bring a dish. Speak to the host about contributing to the food spread and make sure your choice is something on the healthier side. In this way, you can ensure that you will have at least one food item available to you from which to choose.
4. Slow and Steady
Very simply, try not to eat fast. Eating slowly will not only allow you to savor each bite of your once-a-year holiday meal but will also give your stomach time to digest and not become overly full. In terms of portion control, grabbing a smaller plate also helps lessen the likelihood of overindulging. Also be mindful of how much alcohol or holiday punch you are drinking. They may be drinks, but they are packed with wasted calories.
5. Just Keep Moving
In the days leading up to Thanksgiving and all the holidays, plan on steadily increasing your exercise routine. Get those steps in by starting with walks in the morning or during lunch time and build up to thirty minutes of cardio five days a week. You can also continue your movement during gatherings by helping set tables, serve food, or cleaning up. Remember, every step counts—no matter where you take it.
With all the celebrating you have in store this holiday season, don’t forget to sleep. Now you may be asking what sleep has to do with clean eating. Well, a lot! Not getting a full night’s sleep (six to eight hours), can make it harder for your body to regulate your blood sugar. Also, when we are tired and sleep deprived, we tend to lean toward those comfort foods that are high in sugar and carbohydrates. Don’t sabotage all your hard work with poor eating choices made simply because you got to bed too late last night.
With these few simple tips, you can not only celebrate with friends and family, but do so without feeling sluggish, gaining weight, or abandoning your clean eating routine. Through it all, remember that, just like nearly everything in life, moderation is key. Give yourself grace and forgiveness if you indulge a little. That’s okay too—just get back on track as soon as you can. And, as always, don’t let this season go by without remembering gratitude. This year, I am very grateful to be spending the holidays in good health, surrounded by family and friends (and, of course, Vinnie) in our beautiful new home.
Something else I am grateful for is that there’s something for everyone in the 2022 Nikken Holiday Gift Guide and Norwex Gift Guide! Choose something special from gifts for Massage, Mindfulness, Luxury, Sleep, Pet Lovers, Everyday Wellness, and Beauty. We also have specially priced Gift Packs that contain items for free. The holidays are a special time for giving and receiving, so be sure to share these thoughtful gifts and treat yourself! Check out my page to learn more.
For more tips on clean eating, please schedule a call. Together, we can navigate your journey to an even better version of you.
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