Carbs-on-carbs-on-carbs is basically what the holidays should really be called, right? And as if all that delicious bread and those scrumptious potatoes aren’t bad enough, then they go and add cheese to the crackers and add pasta to our salads and suddenly it’s 2017 and your jeans don’t fit anymore and you want to curl up in a ball with the leftover gingerbread and figure out where it all went wrong. The holidays shouldn’t have to be a scary time for someone who is trying to watch their waistline. Going into the season with a roster of tricks to keep you on track is the perfect way to ensure that you get to indulge without overdoing it.
Bring your own food
No person who is spending their own coin to throw a holiday party that you will be attending will ever turn away a donation of food. Call up your host ahead of time and offer to bring some salads, a veggies platter or some fruit for dessert. Knowing that healthy options will be available will give you the ability to make better choices and not succumb to bad habits.
Eat the good-for-you-foods first
All right, all right, we get it. Sometimes those candied sweet potatoes or pumpkin pie will just haunt you all night if you don’t calm that craving right down. And honestly, no one is expecting you to be a saint this holiday season. So fill yourself up on all the healthiest stuff you can find first and then let yourself indulge a little. Chances are you won’t want nearly as much as you think you do.
Never shop on an empty stomach
You’ve been at the mall for six straight hours, you’ve made three trips to the car to offload, and you’ve still got half a list of gifts to find–and that’s when you see them, those glorious, glowing, golden arches from across the jam-packed food court. You know what would have prevented this belly-busting disaster? A light lunch before hitting the mall and a purse full of healthy snacks, that’s what.
Get serious about your food journal
You don’t have to count calories on a daily basis, but if there’s any time of the year to track what goes in your mouth, this is it. Download one of the multitude of food logging apps available to you (we totally dig Myfitnesspal and LoseIt) and let the visual of your daily eating habits keep you on the straight and narrow. Even if you never look at it again until next holiday season, your 2017 self will thank you.
Buy a measuring tape
Or just use your favourite pair of jeans as a guage. Nothing will whip your healthy eating mentality back into shape faster than that.
Don’t let one meal define you
The bottom line is that, even around the holidays, you need to enjoy everything in moderation. If you happen to slip and enjoy the buffet of snacks at a holiday party, don’t let it drag the rest of your healthy eating down; just accept it and try to get back on track as quickly as possible.