The holiday season is coming, and before you know it, the pounds will start piling up! Everyone knows how difficult it is to stay on the right track food-wise when the holiday season comes. But what if we told you that we have a way of helping you avoid the holiday pooch? Sounds unbelievable, right? Well, sit tight because we’ve got a real treat for you today. And this one is entirely guilt-free! And if cooking isn’t your favorite thing to do, don’t worry — you can have healthy meals delivered to you!
It’s That Time of the Year…
Holidays are amazing. They bring families together, and there’s that jolly holiday spirit all around. However, holidays bring something more with them, too. They bring food — and we’re talking about a lot of delicious food.
It happens every single year. We gather around, we drink a lot, we eat a lot — and this cycle lasts for days. It’s all fun and games until we step on the scale and see the scary number. Well, guess what? Not anymore! This year, we have a different approach for you to try out. If you listen to our advice, you’ll be able to enjoy the holidays and keep your sanity and health in check.
Let’s dig into the tips and tricks!
1. Don’t Sink Into the Couch
Even those who are beasts at the gym and extremely dedicated to their training tend to slip during holidays. Let’s face it — this is the time of the year when we all need to take it easy. This is the time to charge your batteries. So, we would definitely recommend staying away from the gym and a tedious workout routine. Cut yourself some slack — it’s the holiday season!
BUT that doesn’t mean that you should stick your bum to the couch and become a part of the furniture. No, that just means that you should find new ways to burn those calories. In fact, this is the perfect opportunity for you to bond with your family over a fun activity. For instance, take them hiking, ice skating or just for a long walk. Use this time to catch up with everyone and stay active. Then, when you get home, don’t sink into that couch again. Instead, keep yourself busy with cleaning, decorating the house and similar activities.
Most families bond over eating together. That doesn’t necessarily mean eating unhealthily. You can try preparing some healthy meals and trying out some new recipes. And, if cooking is too much of a chore after that hiking session, remember that you can have your healthy meals delivered. The bottom line is that you need to move! Working up a bit of sweat is way better than not sweating at all.
2. Focus on Protein
You know how during the holidays, there’s always a table filled with chips, dips, fruits, and veggies? Newsflash — these can’t make you full! But what they can do is make you think you’re full and then, in no time, you’ll be hungry again. That happens because the only way to really satisfy your hunger is to fill your plate with protein.
We’re not saying you can’t eat carbs and fats. What we are saying is that your primary choice should be protein and that you should think of carbs and fat as accessory nutrients on your plate.
One thing’s for sure — a diet that is high in protein increases satiety. That will make you less likely to go overboard with food. So, we’d recommend that you go for fish, eggs, sliced meats, beans, nut mixes, and yogurt. Once you’ve filled your plate with these, you can add some fruits and veggies.
If you’re still not sure whether you’ll be able to balance your plate properly, we’d recommend having healthy meals delivered to you. If you opt to have healthy meals delivered to you, the only thing left to do will be to enjoy the food!
3. Pass On the Meat for One Meal a Day
Another great tip that we have for you is going meatless for one meal a day. It’s not news that plant-based diets promote health. Some think it’s a fad, but going vegan or vegetarian carries plenty of benefits.
In any case, if you don’t want to do that, you can try to incorporate one plant-based meal a day. This is going to help you lower your blood cholesterol levels. In addition to that, this method is great for blood sugar control and cardiovascular disease risk reduction.
This means that instead of your regular beef patty, you can take a black bean burger. Then, instead of having steak or grilled chicken, top your salad with chickpeas. In addition to that, you can try having a veggie stir-fry over some rice with tofu. This meal is going to fill you up, and it will taste delicious! Still, if you don’t feel quite comfortable in the kitchen, remember that you can have your healthy meals delivered.
The point is — if your holiday parties always go heavy on the entrees where meat is the star, you should balance it out with a meatless breakfast or lunch. Remember — it’s all about balance and moderation. Once again, this is where having healthy meals delivered to you makes things a lot easier. That’s how you can have a delicious plant-based meal even when you’re not sure how to make it yourself.
4. Don’t Skip on Sleep
This is something we can’t stress enough: you need to — no, scratch that — you MUST prioritize sleep as often as you can! Research shows that an adequate amount of sleep is crucial for better stress management. In addition to that, it provides a healthy balance of satiety and hunger hormones, leptin and ghrelin.
What we mean by adequate amount of sleep is somewhere between seven and nine hours per night. Anything less than that will effectively lead to mood and appetite changes.
On the other hand, chronic stress is the worst when it comes to sleep. It’s the main cause of bad sleep quality. Basically, if you’re stressed out, you won’t be able to sleep. And, if you’re not able to sleep, chances are your body will start aching. As a result, even when you don’t change your food intake, when you’re under a lot of stress, you’ll end up piling on the pounds.
That’s why we recommend that you make your sleeping schedule an absolute priority. If you’re getting enough sleep, you’ll be feeling better, and your body will be working better. If your body is working better, the holiday season won’t be a problem for you.
5. Have One Fancy Holiday Cocktail
We shouldn’t forget that pounds don’t pile up solely because of what we eat. In fact, the calories we drink sometimes make all the difference on the scale.
Parties and holidays carry a lot of eggnogs and sugary cocktails with them. Hence, you need to stay in control of how much you drink during the holiday season. It would be best if you could avoid alcohol completely. However, if you just can’t pass on drinking, we’d recommend sticking to something lighter in alcohol and calorie content.
So go for a glass of wine or dark beer. Still, pay attention to the fact that it’s best to stick to alcohol-free beverages.
We sound like total buzz killers right now, but this is for your own sake. Stay away from the booze, so that extra pounds stay away from your tummy.
6. When it Comes to Health and Food, Less Really is More
Your nana’s Christmas dinner will be packed with a dozen dessert options, many dips on the table and many types of stuffing. That doesn’t mean that you need to taste them all! Try to adopt the philosophy where less is more when you find yourself in front of these endless options.
We know that having infinite options is way worse than having two. If you start overthinking it, you’ll get lost, your mouth will start watering, and you’ll end up devouring the whole table. Maybe we’re being overdramatic, but we want to make sure you understand that you should stick to trying some dishes and passing on the rest.
We recommend choosing two of your favorite dishes and stopping as soon as you feel full.
That way, you’ll save the decision-making energy for a more productive activity, like the willpower to choose sparkling water instead of some cocktail with a silly name.
In case you’re the one throwing the dinner, go ahead and have healthy meals delivered to you. That way you’ll be doing everyone a favor by keeping them satisfied and healthy!
7. Listen to Your Hunger
We know that it’s not that easy to eat less during the holidays. To some, it might sound like Mission Impossible. However, it’s anything but. The key is to eat when you’re hungry. It’s as easy as that!
Essentially, eating healthy comes down to honoring your hunger. So, if you want to eat light during the day and save room for an intense meal you’re going to eat for dinner, you’re not doing yourself a favor. Chances are you’ll end up eating more than needed.
So we would recommend taking your hunger seriously and never ignoring it. That means there’s no room for skipping meals. There’s no room for “saving calories” for later. Instead, enjoy the holidays and eat only when you’re truly hungry. Stick to eating small portions of food and listen to your body. Whenever you feel full, just stop. It all comes down to having control over your urges.
Alright, guys! There you have it! We’ve shared all our secrets on how you can stay healthy even during the holiday season. Remember to move a lot, sleep a lot and eat (a lot of) healthy foods. If you’re not sure that you can have healthy alternatives at home, then, go ahead and have your healthy meals delivered to you. That way, you won’t have to stress about anything at all!
Enjoy your holidays from the Nutropia Team!