Is this what your plate looks like during the holidays?
Ok, so maybe it’s not packed full of pancakes, but is it over-stuffed with pies, stuffing, cookies, and other holiday foods?? Today’s post contains some great tips from some of my favorite foodie bloggers on how to get through the holidays without packing on the pounds!
My last post ended with an introduction to my “Healthy Holiday Challenge”. In case you missed it, please check out my post! I asked you all to leave a comment telling me some of your best tips for keeping off those extra pounds over the holidays (or if you are like me and are not trying to lose weight, or necessarily even maintain weight, you may have left some tips on how to relax and not over-indulge/binge at parties, which is important for everyone, no matter what their age and size!). Your responses were fantastic. I have added my own comments to some of them. Here they are in no particular order.
Andrea of Andrea’s Wellness Notes:
– Eat a healthy snack/mini meal before going to a holiday party so you won’t overeat (** This is so important. I would even suggest this on a regular bases when you are planning to go to dinner. This prevents you from getting to that point where you are so hungry that you will eat just about anything in sight!**)
– At holiday parties, engage in conversations away from the food table. That way you are less likely to mindlessly reach for food.
– Don’t wear baggy clothes! (** I love this one!! Typically when I go to a holiday party I do the opposite. I wear baggy clothes so I don’t feel uncomfortable after eating a ton of food. However, wearing tight clothes would probably impede my ability to continue eating once I’m full. Such great advice! **)
– If you are not sure there will be healthy options, offer to bring a dish. (** I always do this, even if I do know there will be healthy options. I love to show my friends and family that healthy food can taste good too! In fact, this Thanksgiving I plan on bringing this savory pumpkin quinoa stuffing, created by Evan**)
Summer of www.notonadiet.com
– Choose your treats mindfully. Pass on the everyday nuts and chips and indulge in a moderate amount of a holiday favorite! (**Such a good point. Why eat a bunch of the salted peanuts in the dish on the table when you can eat those any day of the week?? Eat foods that are only available during the holidays! And, enjoy every bite!**)
– To help me not gain weight over the holidays, I try to focus on portion control. I don’t want to deprive myself of trying all of the yummy foods at holiday get-togethers, so I try a little of all the things I think look or smell good!
Christina of Food.Fun.Fabulous
– If I know a day is going to be indulgent (like Thanksgiving) I try to start out with a healthier breakfast like fruit and yogurt and get a workout in asap!
Krista of Krista’s Kravings
– My one downfall over the holiday’s is chocolate so I ask my family not to buy me any at all. (** I think this is important. On that same not, raise your hand if you get cookie trays for the holidays as a gift. I DO! While I appreciate the hard work that went into the cookie tray, I often will just take that with me to my next party so it’s not sitting in our house waiting to be eaten. On that same note, I try to give healthy gifts to my friends and family because giving a cookie tray is such an easy way to sabotage a healthy diet plan! This year I plan on giving out pumpkin butter, which Joanna posted some time in October**)
Kelly of She Wears a Red Sox Cap
– The key for me is to only eat like it’s a holiday ON the actual holiday and not in all the days around each one!
Gina of The Candid RD (yep, that’s me!)
– Take advantage of the desserts or side dishes with fruit and/or veggies. Cranberries are a special holiday food, so indulge! Even if they are packed with sugar, at least you are getting some health benefits from the berries (the phytonutrients in cranberries may actually keep bacteria from attaching to bladder cells, which may help prevent UTIs).Anything with pumpkin, sweet potato, or other squash is a good choice. My aunt made a low sugar pumpkin pudding/mousse last year, which I thought tasted delicious.– Eat slow! I can remember one Thanksgiving when I ate so fast that I was finished before everyone else. It was embarrassing. Of course I felt obligated to go get more food so I wouldn’t be sitting there with an empty plate. Awkward. Now I eat much slower, and put my utensils down between each bite.
Question: When you are at a holiday party, or holiday dinner, what is the one food item in which you will allow yourself to indulge? For me it’s pecan pie! I will have my one plate of food (sometimes one and a half because I like to have seconds on the white meat turkey) and then I will hit the dessert table. I usually have a tiny piece of pumpkin pie (or pumpkin mousse form my aunt!) and a good-sized piece of the pecan pie with whipped cream. Then later in the day I may have a nice cup of flavored coffee.
**By the way, thanks to all who left me with some suggestions on a better bowl of overnight oats. In my last post I talked about my overnight oat disaster and I think after all of your suggestions I am bound to find a recipe I love! However, I’m still not keen on the cold oats, so I always have to heat them up in the morning **