The week before Thanksgiving and most of us are worrying about family gatherings, what to wear, what tasty treats we are going to eat and then the fear of not wanting to gain weight as a result of all this holiday celebrating! Here are 5 easy tips for maintaining holiday health. I promise, not restrictive!
1) Eat like normal and bring your food:
If you eat every 3 hours at home, you need to eat every 3 hours when you are away. If you need to pack some extra meals in the car or for your flight, then do it. If you need to go grocery shopping while staying at relatives homes so you have what you need, then just do it. No one will criticize you for eating the foods you are used to. I do this when I stay with family. They understand my eating habits are different than theirs I ask for a few key items to be added to their grocery list or plan a trip to the grocery store while there. It keeps us all happy!
2) Don’t save up for dinner!:
This seems to be the key to not overeating at Thanksgiving dinner. If you just eat smaller meals all day, and maybe keep them to green vegetables and a little protein, that will keep you satisfied for the day. Going into dinner starving is a sure recipe for overeating, and having a few too many treats afterwards, too.
3) If you drink alcohol, keep it 2:
This may work for some, it might not work for others. I know I like my wine with dinner, but I do limit it to 1 glass before dinner and 1 with dinner. Otherwise I feel lousy the next morning. The more alcohol you drink, the less control you have over what you eat.
For some, alternating 1 alcoholic beverage with 1 glass of water or sparkling water does the trick. But try to shy away from the sugary eggnogs which can be 400 calories in 1 glass!
4) Make sure you find time to exercise, even a little:
Each of us needs to move for 30 minutes a day regardless of what season we are in. The body needs activity just for overall health. When traveling, this should not fall off the radar screen. Schedule time to exercise. Find a local gym and go in the morning when others are still sleeping in. You can even make it a joint activity with a sibling or hometown friends. One year, I went to 2 yoga classes in one day with my sister, then swimming the next day and another yoga class – so much fun! You’ll feel better since you got your endorphin high, and be less stressed the remainder of the day.
5) Say yes to you!
Your needs are just as important as your family’s needs. Don’t be at the bottom of the list and feel resentful at the end of the day or week. It is not being selfish. It is saying yes to you. It is not saying no to the other person. You may find that when you don’t cram in too many activities, you can enjoy the day. If you have now committed to making everything for dinner while others just show up, you will have no time to enjoy the gathering, and just be pissed off and tired. Make dinner a potluck so you divide the tasks amongst everyone coming. You can ask for help. You should ask for help. This is a way of saying yes to you and not feeling overwhelmed.
Give thanks to the many things you have even to just be happy! Gratitude if given is something that keeps on being received! Don’t stress about the holidays. Just enjoy what you can, keep it real, and try not to overdue it. Enjoy the friends, enjoy the family, enjoy this wonderful time of year. And be thankful you can maintain your health one more year 🙂