Tis the season of holiday potlucks, baking parties and eating guilt-free because it’s the last chance in the year to indulge before making a new year’s resolution. Staying healthy can be so hard during the holidays, but for those looking to find balance, here are some tips.
First comes the leftover Halloween candy that may tempt you late at night. Then it’s Thanksgiving day when we prepare for our pants to need unbuttoning. Finally comes the Christmas season where cookies are always in the oven and dinner parties mean endless platters of food and drinks. Oh, and don’t forget the left-overs that mean you get to do that all over again.
Everyone should allow themselves to enjoy the holiday season in a way that best suits their needs. However, finding balance when it comes to indulging in sweet treats or going back in for seconds or third serving can feel impossible when every other day you are out at a dinner party or hosting family and friends.
Dieting during the holiday weeks is a risk some are willing to endure, but it is not for the majority. Meal prepping your food or avoiding going to holiday functions because you cannot eat the food being served is a huge sacrifice. Mentally it may take a toll on your happiness when you exclude yourself from enjoying the social aspects that come with eating out with family and friends.
Instead of excluding yourself from partaking in social outings due to being on your diet during the holidays, explore other options that allow you to still be healthy and have fun. For example, when it comes to potluck parties, friends-givings, or dinner functions, volunteer to bring a dish.
By preparing a healthier side-dish that you can share with everyone, it allows you to enjoy the food and even share a recipe with those who enjoyed it.
Many people believe that desserts are only tasty if they are full of sugar. That is a myth! There are many alternatives to cane sugar, white flour and butter that can be used when baking to make it a healthier option and still taste amazing.
Holiday drinks like hot cocoa, alcoholic mixed drinks, or those Starbucks frappes have extreme amounts of sugar. For a healthier balance, there are sugar-free alternatives available or make your own at home to limit calories. Try your best to limit your amount of high-calorie drinks and always stay equally as hydrated with water.
Online you can find endless recipes for any type of food that cater to most diets even vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, etc. with a simple google search. Check out these two websites for some creative and healthy holiday recipes:
Some other ways you can find holiday balance is by getting outside and moving. Continue to exercise frequently. After a big dinner, go for a walk with family, or when the pies are baking, do an at-home workout.
Feeling guilty for eating too much is normal during the holidays, but don’t let it get you too down.
Remember that even when you are on a strict diet this holiday season, one cookie, or one serving of stuffing will not take you off-track from your goals. Enjoying your life, making memories with your loved ones and spending time making fun dishes in the kitchen with family are all factors in your happiness during this season. Balance is possible, it just takes the willingness to find it.