Top Food Tips For Surviving the Holidays
Did you know that in order to gain five pounds from now to the end of January, all you have to do is eat an average of 220 calories per day more than you actually need? The holidays typically encourage us to indulge in high-fat, high-calorie foods that are low in nutrients, and this is also the time we’re most likely to make excuses for skipping exercise. One of the most significant diet dangers revolves around sugar consumption. Binging on sugar increases the cravings for it while the body slows down. Along with sunlight deprivation in the winter, sugar binges cause a drop in serotonin, a chemical in the brain that regulates sleep and appetite.
A lack of serotonin is often associated with depression. In order to help boost your serotonin level naturally, eat small but frequent meals that include complex, starchy veggies. You can also help control blood sugar levels by eating small quantities of protein three times a day. For example, eat two egg whites in the morning, some turkey at lunch and a small portion of grilled fish at night. Don’t forget exercise, you should keep up your regular exercise during the holidays and accept no excuses. When endorphins are high, you’ll cope better with stress, and regular exercise boosts endorphins.
Here are some other holiday survival tips to keep in mind:
- Exercise an hour a day during the holidays. Exercise to burn calories, relieve stress, and elevate your endorphins and mood such as a brisk walk, run, or bike-ride.
- Don’t skip meals. Hunger and low blood sugar lead to overeating.
- Don’t pass up favorite foods or deprive yourself completely. Moderate consumption is the key.
- Don’t tempt yourself by keeping trigger foods or comfort foods around the house; this just increases the likelihood that you will overeat.
- Plan meals by keeping in mind the demands you’ll have on your schedule that day.
- Don’t go to a party starving. Before you leave home, eat something light or drink a protein shake.
- Alcoholic beverages pack on the calories, if you’re drinking alcohol, stick to light beer or a champagne spritzer.
- To satisfy your sweet tooth, set limits. For example, you might allow yourself two desserts per week at 250 calories each.
- Just because it is the holidays doesn’t mean you should give yourself the license to eat everything that passes by. Factor in the little extras into your daily intake.
- Help out by saving fat and calories when it’s feasting time. Make or buy wild-rice stuffing, baked sweet potatoes, whole-grain rolls and angel-food cake with fruit.
- If you tend to overeat during family gatherings, plan and visualize what and how much you will eat before you go.
- If you want to really keep yourself honest (the same size) during the holiday season, wear your most form-fitting blue jeans. Another trick is to tie a string or ribbon around your waist (under your shirt).
- If you are at the mercy of the dinner host, eat modest amounts of the foods offered and fill up on foods with more fiber and fewer calories. Make a small plate and skip the seconds.