November starts the holiday season, which can be a difficult time for healthy eating and making healthy decisions in general. Whether it be getting up in the dark mornings, going out in the cold to get to the gym, or finding options for healthy produce that’s season, or eating holiday treats in moderation, the holidays can make it tricky to stay on track.
But the key to having a merry time without feeling you’re missing out on all the seasonal goodies? Moderation.
Actually, the key is moderation paired with making healthy choices during the times you’re NOT being offered a Christmas cookie or a slice of pumpkin pie.
Here are some tips to help you make it through the holiday season on the majority of the days that aren’t holidays.
- If you aren’t already doing so, consider meal prepping your lunch and snacks for the day Keep healthy snacks around, especially at work, so that holiday treats and candies in the office or break room won’t be as tempting. I like keeping Quest bars around, just breaking off a couple of pieces here and there, instead of eating something like candy.
- Go easy on the holiday creamers and syrups. Stick to serving sizes and only one serving a day, and if you go to someplace like Dunkin, ask for half cream or even one pump of your favorite swirl instead of the default amount. Guarantee it will still be yummy!
- Try using frozen vegetables instead of fresh ones that are maybe out of season and can potentially be old or more expensive because of how far they needed to travel to get to your store.
- Try to eat more veggies in general, especially for your snacks.
- When it comes to your favorite holiday dishes, explore some options for healthier versions of them. Sometimes, a simple google search can make this happen. For example, if you love green bean casserole, try googling “best healthy green bean casserole.” Pick one that has a lot of highly rated reviews! Never disappoints.
- Don’t go to parties starving- you will likely overeat! Make sure you go having had a couple of small, nutritious meals beforehand, and make sure you drink plenty of water. At parties and get-togethers, go in with a plan. Stay away from the sides that have a lot of mayo or butter like macaroni salad or corn casserole and opt for garden salads and vegetables. It is also an idea to bring a salad to share if you worried there may not be one! Definitely enjoy the main course at the party, but be committed to enjoying what is on your plate and not going back for seconds and thirds. It is also a good idea to move around a lot at the party, especially if it means not sitting next to or at the food table. Seat yourself as far from it as you can if you feel like you won’t be able to control picking.
- Try to also be committed to things like, having one seasonal cocktail vs having 3 generic beers at a get together or when out to dinner, or getting a dessert that you’ve never heard of before and you’d like to try it vs having a plain piece of cheesecake for dessert just because. Keep hydration a priority all season long!
- Eat your favorite treats slower! You only get them once a year, so enjoy them! You will be less likely to keep going for seconds and thirds 🙂
- When you are making treats, try to not sample the goods as you go! A good tip for this is to chew gum while cooking and baking.
- If you do go off the rails, it’s okay! We are human. Just get right back into healthy habits the next day.And as always, if there is anything our team can do to help you, let us know! Contact us for nutrition and training information to stay healthy this whole holiday season and into the new
Jen Hazzard is a Alpin Haus Fitness’ Nutritionist, a Precision Nutrition Certified Nutrition Coach, NCCPT certified Personal Trainer, holds a bachelor‘s degree in Biochemistry with a minor in Nutrition and a master’s degree in Chemistry Education.
She is also a record holding powerlifter and former marathon runner.