Get into the holiday spirit without worrying if you’ll be able to fit into your favorite pair of jeans! While this time of year means gathering with family and friends to break bread and give thanks, don’t forget to thank yourself first when you make healthy choices that may do your body good!
From office parties to family dinners and more, celebrating the holiday season means you may find yourself tempted by delicious homemade comfort foods and baked goods that come hand-in-hand with this special time of year, but never fear! You don’t have to overindulge to still eat well and enjoy yourself.
Here are some ways you can enjoy guilt-free holidays.
Make Easy, Healthy Choices
Choose lower calorie options. There are many different healthy holiday food swaps you can easily make to cut back on calories. Your first step should be to substitute ingredients in recipes, especially when it comes to dairy products such as milk, butter and cheese, by opting for low-calorie or non-fat versions. In addition, health conscious cooks could replace heavy frying oils or butter with Organic Culinary Coconut Oil from Barlean’s, a cholesterol-free, trans fat-free option perfect for stir-frying, baking and medium sautéing. It’s a healthier cooking option that doesn’t change the taste of your food and can even be used as a moisturizer for the skin or as a hair conditioner!
Choose smaller portions. To make your home a “portion-friendly” zone, try replacing the cookie tray or candy dish with a fruit bowl. Move healthier snack options, such as freshly sliced vegetables, to an easy-to-reach eye level position, while you place high-calorie snacks and junk food out of sight, or up high on a shelf. Also, try sharing meals, or diving portions in half and saving the rest as leftovers. My Plate, a service from the United States Department of Agriculture, offers specific portion advice, eating tips and other resources related to the five food groups as the building blocks for a healthy diet.
You Are What You Eat
Eat more fruits and vegetables. Eating raw or steamed organic vegetables, or enjoying fruit-based smoothies as a snack between meals or as a meal replacement may help curb holiday cravings. Veggies have fiber, which will fill you up faster, and fruits have natural sweeteners that can satiate your craving for sweets. Try eating these healthy snacks before going to a holiday party to avoid overeating high-calorie foods later.
Cut down on sugar. Instead of eating sugar-packed baked goods or drinking sugary beverages, try replacing sugar with flavored stevia to help cut calories. For example, to naturally sweeten your tea, try Better Stevia Lemon Twist Liquid Extract from NOW Foods, a delicious zero-calorie sugar substitute. Avoid high-calorie, sugary coffee blends by adding a few drops of Better Stevia French Vanilla from NOW Foods to your coffee. Not only does it come in a convenient travel-sized container, but the vegetarian formula also has a pleasant, non-bitter aftertaste. When baking, replace sugar with Better Stevia Zero Calorie Sweetener Organic Powder from NOW Foods, a certified organic sweetener made from pure stevia extract. The powder can also be used to sweeten beverages.
Drink more water. You are also what you drink! The human body needs water to survive, and chances are that you’re not getting enough water for your body to function at its best. Replace soda or alcoholic drinks with zero-calorie water to cut back calories. You can add a wedge of lime or lemon to improve the taste. Learn more at Rethink Your Drink.
It’s All in the Gut
Support healthy digestion. Sometimes stress, a poor diet, lack of sleep and lack of exercise may cause an imbalance of the flora of your digestive tract. To help rid yourself of toxins, balance the good bacteria in your body with probiotic supplements, and support regular digestion with digestive enzymes. For example, Digestin is a professional-grade enzyme supplement that provides a blend of enzymes to maintain an optimal level of digestive health and function.
If you still experience discomfort after eating holiday meals, neutralize the gastric acidity in your body by taking Immediate Heartburn Relief from Terry Naturally, available in easy, chewable tablets. In addition, incorporating a nutritional supplement of superfoods (vitamins, minerals and greens) may also support digestive health and function.
For more weight management options, try dietary supplements that deliver nutrients to support metabolism and appetite control.
Choose an active lifestyle. In addition to making healthier food choices during the holidays, be sure to maintain your physical activity too. Holiday activities such as ice skating, sledding, skiing, walking through the woods, or even shopping can help you burn more calories and stay fit. Enjoy more fun ideas here.
What helps you stay healthy during the holidays? Share your story in the comments below!