With the holidays here, it's easy to give ourselves excuses on why it's ok to eat all of those treats and hearty dishes we work so hard to avoid the rest of the year. I'm all about indulging in your favorites on these once a year holidays but at the same time, everything should always be in moderation. There's no reason to make a plate of Christmas cookies your dinner three nights a week and there are easy ways to make healthier decisions during dinners and holiday parties. These five tips are a great start to making better decisions during the holiday season so you can hopefully keep off those extra pounds that always come around this time of year.
1. Think about what you're putting on your plate. Always choose colors and avoid too many carbs. Fill half your plate with veggies, a quarter or more with meat or some kind of protein and then finish it off with carbs should you feel the need. If you fill up on veggies that are rich in fiber and protein-rich meat, you'll eat less carbs and feel full longer. Staying away from too many carbs will also reduce your chances of the next-day carb hangover. Those are honestly the worst.
2. Take a break between dinner and dessert. Let your stomach sit before you gorge on the dessert table. If you give your body a minute to process what you just ate, chances are you won't feel as compelled to eat as many sweets.
3. Choose the sweets wisely. Try and load up with fruit rather than the baked goods. Use the same rule as you do for the main course only this time, 75% of the plate should be fruit and please, please let this be a miniature dessert plate and not a full-sized one. If you're bringing something to a party or dinner, take the initiative and bring a healthy version of your favorite treat. Almost anything can be lightened-up these days. If you know certain desserts were made with better ingredients than others, opt for those instead.
4. Eat throughout the day. Starving yourself all day on Christmas just so you can go crazy at dinner is a terrible idea. Make sure you have well-balanced, healthy snacks or small meals throughout the day. Starving yourself will only lead to bad decisions. Think of this like the general grocery shopping rule. You never go grocery shopping hungry because that leads to buying all kinds of goodies you don't need and aren't good for you. The same rule applies to starving yourself before Christmas dinner.
5. Give yourself a break. The actual holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas and NYE) only come once a year. It's ok to indulge in your favorites. The idea is to be mindful of everything your consuming so that you don't go overboard. Nothing is worse than a carb hangover or stomach ache from eating too many cookies. Don't be too rigid on what you're consuming but at the same time, don't throw all restrictions out the window.