Happy Holidays!! With Thanksgiving just a few days away it’s important to have a game plan to ensure that indulging in a few holiday treats doesn’t turn into a binge-fest that lasts until January 1. We’re here to help! We’ve put together some of our favorite tips for how to enjoy your favorite holiday foods without going overboard or feeling deprived. As we always say, it’s all about balance. Check out our top ten tips and let us know if you have any others to add:
1. Eat healthy during the day. Start the day with a healthy breakfast of protein and veggies (like an omelet!) and drink plenty of water. Saving up all of your calories for a big dinner will just make you hangry and tired. No one wants to be around that all day. You’re also more likely to overindulge at dinner and make unhealthy choices because you are blinded by your hunger.
2. Bring healthy options with you. If you are going to someone’s house for the holiday, bring a healthy side, like a salad or roasted veggies, with you. That way you can feel good knowing that you will have at least one totally clean option you can put on your plate.
3. Stay busy. Instead of congregating around the appetizer or dessert tables, take the conversation to another area where you aren’t tempted to mindlessly munch on appetizers and other bite-sized treats.
4. Choose your treats wisely. If you are going to visit the dessert spread, grab the sweets that you can’t get year-round. You know you can have a chocolate chip cookie any time of year, but pumpkin pie and sweet potato pie are usually only available this time of year.
5. Practice portion control. People typically use their “formal” dishware for Thanksgiving, which means BIG plates. Don’t let the size of the plate fool you. Try to portion out your food on the plate instead of trying to fit a scoop of EVERYTHING on it just because it’s got more space.
6. Fill your plate with protein and veggies. This tip is the buddy to tip #4. If you aren’t a portion control pro, focus on filling your plate with mostly protein (turkey) and veggies. When you sit down to eat, focuse on eating these foods FIRST before you move on to the potatoes, stuffing and dinner rolls.
If you are a 21 Day Fixer, like Keegan and I, try to eye-ball a red container of turkey and a green container of veggies FIRST. Then add in smaller scoops of your yellows (mashed potatoes, stuffing, bread, sweet potatoes). Need more help, check out Autumn Calabrese’s video about how to survive Thanksgiving using the 21 Day Fix.
7. Choose wisely. If you’re going to indulge, go for seasonal sweets that you know you can’t get year-round. You know you can have chocolate any time of the year, but candy apples, apple cider, pumpkin or sweet potato pie are often only available this time of year. Just remember that just because these treats are only available for a limited time doesn’t mean you should go overboard. Practice portion control!
8. Be careful with the cocktails. It’s the holidays and, let’s be real here, we all like to enjoy a few adult beverages to celebrate the season. The trouble is, these can pack LOTS of empty calories that do absolutely nothing but give us a nasty headache. Play it safe by avoiding cocktails with sugary mixers and having a glass of water between each drink you have. This will keep you from drinking too much alcohol and help you stay full and hydrated!
9. Start the day with a workout. Working up a sweat in the morning can help you feel happy and energized throughout the day and way less guilty for eating an extra slice of pumpkin pie. Need workout ideas? You can pop in a workout DVD (T25, 21 Day Fix, P90), go for a jog, sign up for a local Turkey Trot race, or head to the gym (some are open on Thanksgiving!).
10. Move on. If you overindulged a bit, don’t let it get you down. It happens to the best of us. It’s easy for a little extra stuffing at Thanksgiving dinner to turn into binge-fest 2014 that lasts until January 2. Jump right back into your clean eating and exercise routine. If you don’t have one, let us know, we’re happy to help.
It also helps to team up with friends to keep you on track during the crazy holiday season. We all want to look awesome for our holiday parties and when the ball drops on New Year’s Eve, right? The NGU Krew has a free online group starting on Dec 10 to help us all stay accountable to our nutrition and exercise plans, so we can feel crazy confident in our New Years Eve outfits. Sound good? Shoot us a message on Facebook www.facebook.com/ngukrew or via email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll add you to the group!