The holidays are one of our FAVORITE times of the year! Between the decorated trees, the holiday music on every single radio station (cough: Mariah Carey), the nightly holiday movie reruns, and of course our family gatherings, it's safe to say that the holidays really boost our spirits... BUT the holidays also tend to be synonymous with lots of food, cookies, hot cocoa, eggnog, and other unhealthy seasonal finger foods. And of course there's always that uncle you rarely see who guilt trips you into eating his 5,000 calorie bread pudding. While you shouldn't sit on the sidelines and pout as everyone else partakes in the fun, you can use some of our tips so you won't feel like your 2016 diet regimen will completely go to waste.
- Eat Before You Go! Yes, we're telling you to eat before you eat. If you walk into a holiday party completely ravenous, you're more likely to eat the first thing see, regardless of whether it's healthy. For all you know, that could be the bacon-wrapped pigs-in-a-blanket! Probably not how you anticipated kicking off the holidays. Now, this doesn't mean you should come to the party without an appetite! Snack on something small to curb your hunger so you're able to make conscious decisions about what you want to eat. We're talking an apple and some nut butter, or two hard boiled eggs. Keep it simple!
- Make Your Plate & Walk Away! We cannot stress enough the perils of lingering at the buffet table!!!! The longer you linger, the more likely you are to keep adding as you eat. The mac n' cheese doesn't magically continue to appear on your plate - you keep refilling it! Make your plate and sit down somewhere away from the buffet table. Once you eat, allow yourself some time between your firsts and your seconds (we know seconds are inevitable).
- Decide Your Dessert. Telling you to abstain from all dessert would be downright cruel. SO, we're telling you scope out the dessert deal before you dive in. If you've had your eye on the pecan pie all night, allow yourself a small piece. But don't combine the pie with the cookies with the cake with the ice cream. Decide what you're going to try ahead of time, because the "a little bite of everything," bit is rarely successful.
- About The Alcohol: If you don't drink during the Holidays, power to you! If you do, keep reading. This probably isn't new information, so we're gently reminding you to AVOID THE EGGNOG (and all cousins of the eggnog! If it's sweet and sugary and heavy - red flag!). It's never a good idea to drink your calories, especially when you are already eating a ton! However, we do understand that the standard vodka-soda with lime just may not be what you have in mind, so we have a solution. Belvoir Fruit Farms makes some delicious holiday mixers with all organic ingredients, so we propose adding some to your vodka-soda! Now, these mixers still do have sugar, so we add about 1/4 cup to our drinks for a boost of delicousness! The organic elderflower and ginger beer are two personal favorites.
- Catch Up! The holidays aren't only about eating and drinking (right!?). Rather than focusing on the array of food, focus on catching up with family and friends. There has to be someone you haven't seen in a while, so find out what he or she has been up to! When you're occupied, you're less likely to be anxious about the food around you, so chat it up!