For many people, the holiday season is the best time of the year: We look forward to the smell of mom’s juicy holiday roast, grandma’s gingerbread and dad’s (in)famous mulled wine. Everywhere you look, there’s one temptation after the other. Who can resist such enticements? We know that cutting out all the sweet and savory holiday treats is not very realistic, but with a few simple tips and tricks you can avoid stuffing yourself and feeling sick afterwards.
Look for healthy alternatives
Just because it’s the holidays, doesn’t mean you have to serve calorie bombs. A few small changes to the menu can make a big impact. Instead of the annual holiday goose, try having steamed fish this year. You can’t live without your goose? Then fill up on stewed red cabbage and salad instead of meat and bread dumplings. If you are a fan of meat fondue, use vegetable stock instead of oil. There are even ways to make holiday cookies healthier – try a couple of our delicious alternatives.
Take a break
Although there is no lack of temptations during the holidays, you should take at least a three-hour break between meals. This way you give your body plenty of time to digest all the goodies. Plus, breaks allow you to distinguish between feelings of hunger and satiety again. Eating slowly can also help give you a better sense of when you feel full. People who consciously chew each bite 25 times tend to consume about half as much as those who eat faster. So, take your time. Particularly during the holidays, there’s no need to rush, so relax and take it easy.
Don’t go partying hungry
Office parties, dinner invitations, New Year’s bashes… During the holidays, there are plenty of opportunities to feast on sumptuous buffets. Avoid consuming too many of the unhealthy treats by eating something small and healthy like fruit or nuts before the party. That way you feel full before the event and the temptation is no longer so great. If you are invited to dinner by friends, bring a few healthy snacks along with you. What about a mixed salad or a low-calorie dessert?
Hydration is important
It’s been a busy day and suddenly at 6 pm you notice that you’ve only drank two glasses of water the whole day – sound familiar? When things get stressful, we often forget to drink enough water. This frequently results in headache and fatigue. Make sure that even during the holidays you always have a glass of water near at hand. And when it is empty, fill it up right away. You are doing well if you manage to drink 6-8 glasses of water per day. By the way, did you know that your daily fluid intake depends on your weight? And even when you give in and have a couple of glasses of wine, don’t forget to always drink a glass of water afterwards. That way you will compensate for the dehydration caused by alcohol and your hangover won’t be so bad the next day.
Between rushing from one dinner invitation to the next, preparing a holiday meal before guests arrive and finding time to wrap gifts… even if you intended to take it easier this holiday season, things often end up being stressful. This seldom leaves time for exercise. One way to deal with this is to combine what you have to do with what is good for you. For instance, what about taking a walk with your family after a sumptuous meal? Another possibility would be to squeeze in a quick, yet effective bodyweight workout with your best friend before getting ready for the party. Everybody has 15 minutes to spare, don’t they?
Don’t forget that most people put on weight from January to December, not just from December to January. Don’t worry too much about your figure over the holidays. Even small changes can make a big difference. Just remember to watch what you eat and that moderation is key. The holidays are a time of joy, so enjoy these special days in the company of your loved ones! This can give you a lot of motivation to kick off the new year.