The holidays are right around the corner (is it me or is it crazy that Thanksgiving is THIS Thursday?!). And let’s be honest, a big focus of the holiday season is all of the delicious food we get to enjoy- from turkey and stuffing to cookies, pies, and lots of cocktails 🍸.
While this is meant to be a good thing, and a time of celebration, love, family and friends (and a few days off from work ;)), all of these indulges can cause a bunch of anxiety and stress when you’re trying to stay on a healthy plan.
And sure, you could swear off all sweets and decadent dishes, and restrict yourself from the flowing champagne, but you’ll most likely end up feeling resentful, unhappy and ultimately overindulging in those “off-limit” foods, which will only ruin your fun.
Good news: there’s no reason to make a decision between celebrating the holidays- including grandma’s apple pie- and working towards your health and weight goals. Your lifestyle and foods choices don’t have to be all or nothing. You can still enjoy your favorite foods and all of the holiday parties without packing on pounds or feeling crappy as we ring in a new year. It just requires a few tweaks to your plate and easy upgrades.
Below are my tips to loading up your plate the smart way to avoid gaining weight this holiday season.
g r e e n s + v e g g i e s:
Aim to fill half your plate with veggies to help you fill up on nutrient-dense clean food. And this doesn’t just have to be raw veggies. Enjoy some roasted faves like brussel sprouts, carrots, or sweet potatoes. Take a large helping of salad filled with greens, asparagus, peppers, avocado, and goat cheese. You name it. By filling up on and consuming more of these healthy, nutritious, nourishing foods, you’ll be less hungry for some of those more indulgent foods that just aren’t worth your while. And not only will these foods help you fill up, but you’ll also feel better as a result.
p r o t e i n:
It’s so important to incorporate protein at each meal. This will help you feel full and satiated, so that you’re not hangry and reaching for the closest pig in a blanket. Thanksgiving is known for turkey, which is a great source of clean protein. So throw a nice piece on your plate… but maybe hold the gravy. By focusing on protein, you will feel full, satisfied and energized for longer. Not mention, it will create a nice solid base for those glasses (bottles) of wine.
g r a i n s:
If you’re dinner party has a healthy grain dish like brown rice, wild rice, quinoa, buckwheat, etc. feel free to scoop a spoonful or two onto your plate. Try to keep it in moderation and avoid seconds, so that you can have room for what’s coming next. Also, keep in mind that grains aren’t necessary, and having sweeter, starchier veggies like carrots, parsnip, sweet potato and squash are great alternatives!
s w e e t s + i n d u l g e n c e s:
And now, for the best part of the meal! Since you kept it clean and filled up on those healthier options, like veggies and turkey, and avoided more processed foods that don’t really do it for you (nothing special about the dinner rolls? skip ’em!), you can actually eat and enjoy those more scrumptious treats. Spoon some stuffing onto your plate. Take a small piece of your favorite cake. Split a couple of your favorite desserts with your sister, significant other or friend. And really slow down, chew your food and savor each and every bite. This way you won’t have to deprive yourself, you’ll feel satisfied by filling up on healthier foods, and you’ll wake up the next day feeling great, rather than berating yourself for eating everything in site.
But, at the end of the day, E N J O Y yourself, and have a wonderful holiday season!
💚 💚 💚