The holidays truly can be “the most wonderful time of the year,” but they can be the worst time of the year to squander some of the hard-earned progress you made during the year on your fitness and nutrition goals. Holiday parties and holiday meals can be particular traps because you don’t want to look like a Scrooge that isn’t eating anything. How can you be polite and stay on track with your fitness goals at the same time? Read on for some great tips.
Bring Something Healthy To a “Potluck Party”
Going to an event where everyone is asked to bring a side dish or a dessert to share? If no one is going to bring anything healthy, YOU can! A delicious vegetable tray is a great complement to the cookies and dips that others might bring. As an added bonus, when you want to try the delicious dip that one of your friends brings, you can try it on a carrot or a piece of celery rather than on a chip or cracker … you’re being polite and being healthy all at once! Not to mention, most people do enjoy some crunchy vegetables particularly if you bring a dip of your own, perhaps choosing hummus over ranch dressing!
Don’t Try To Crash Diet At Parties
Some people enter a party so focused on not overeating or chowing down on sweets that they ruin the party for themselves by watching others eat holiday goodies and feel a need to avoid joining them almost as a personal test of will. While we are all for personal tests of will and achieving goals through hard work here at iAMFit, there’s a big difference between eating one cookie and eight cookies. Go ahead! Enjoy a cookie or treat … just know when to stop.
Eat (and Drink) Before You Go
Another strategy to avoid overeating at the holidays is to eat on your own terms prior to arriving at a social gathering. Then, your stomach won’t growl at you the entire time you’re there PLUS you’ll be able to honestly say, “No thank you, I just ate,” if someone offers you something you know you should avoid. It is also important to stay hydrated throughout the day. Water is the best choice, but low-sugar soft drinks can also be consumed in moderation. Our bodies can misunderstand dehydration as hunger, which can have some long-term consequences; “a moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips,” as they say.
The Holiday Family Dinner
OK, so you’ve successfully employed these strategies at the standard holiday mixers, but once you get to the table at Christmas dinner with Grandma’s delicious cooking … how do you avoid going overboard then? Again, moderation is the key. Eat the signature dishes, just be mindful of portions, eat more slowly, and listen to your stomach … when it tells you it’s full, you don’t need to stuff more food into your face.
Whatever You Do, Don’t Sulk
So you go to a party and eat more cookies than you should have … don’t worry about it! One event is not going to make or break your fitness and nutrition plan. Here at iAMFit, we focus on establishing good habits — don’t let your overeating become a pattern, but if your strategy goes off course at one event, don’t beat yourself up over it (for one, people tend to eat more when they sulk …). The hard work you put in throughout the year will continue to pay off. Enjoy the holiday season, and know that iAMFit will be here in 2017 to help you continue to meet your fitness goals. Happy holidays!