Planning for a Healthy Christmas and Happy New Year

With the Christmas holidays just around the corner, it’s time to put a plan in place if you don’t already have one to combat the additional 2-5 pounds that many of us put on over the season.

( Original topic presented at the Girls Gathering Place Planning Series)

With the Christmas holidays just around the corner, it’s time to put a plan in place if you don’t already have one to combat the additional 2-5 pounds that many of us put on over the season. If you know that you traditionally ‘relax your standards’ of healthy eating throughout the holiday season, then it’s time to plan your success strategy ahead of time.

Mental Attitude

1. give yourself permission to enjoy foods that you would not normally eat throughout the year. You can eat Chocolate Chip cookies any old time so save your calories for the seasonal foods (we make an annual Christmas rum (black) cake)

2. Avoid the ‘I will start in the new year mindset.’ Once you tell yourself this its sets you up for binge eating.

3. Get conscious !- Many of us don’t really put much thought into eating. We simple eat out of habit. Try this exercise today and get conscious of how many times do you chew your food, notice when are the times that you are prone to overeat, do you put your fork down in between bites?. Learn to notice your patterns.

4. Remember the reason for the season- focus on family and friends. Avoid all day shopping and cooking sprees. Stress usually leads to overeating.

Exercise

Be physically active every day preferably first thing in the morning. It will help to curb your appetite, help keep you focused on your health and decrease your likelihood of overeating. You’ll ask yourself if it’s worth the calories.

Socializing and Dining out

For many of us, our social calendars dramatically increase over the Christmas holidays. Try some of these tips when socializing.
1. Eat a light snack before going to holiday parties. Don’t go starving- there’s a high chance that you will overeat.

2. Plan in advance what you’re going to eat. Make choices- will you have 1 or 2 glasses of wine? Will you forgo desserts or starches?

3. Eat your calories- things like egg nog, fruit punch, liquors and fancy drinks contain a lot of fat and calories- opt for healthy food choices instead of drinks

4. If you are taking a gift for the host, take a plant instead of cookies or cakes- get creative – your hosts will appreciate it

5. Its not really what you eat but the quantity you eat that has the biggest impact on your weight. Allow yourself to sample 3 mouthfuls of something then move on- avoid piling up your plate.

6. Reduce the fat in Christmas recipes. There are plenty of low fat and low calorie substitutes that taste good. Just Google in your recipe and beside it type ‘low fat alternatives’.

  • Try the following alternatives:
  • Try applesauce in place of oil in your favorite
  • Try egg substitutes in place of whole eggs
  • Try non fat yoghurt in place of sour cream
  • Try frozen yoghurt in place of ice cream
  • Try using lower fat cheeses and milks

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