The holidays are a wonderful time of year because it is often the only time distant family members gather and celebrate life, love, and family! However, the inevitable delicious meals that are made and consumed around the holidays are some of the largest meals consumed all year. So, how do we combat this problem and still enjoy family gatherings this holiday season?
Lighten the recipes
If you are the host and you are doing the cooking then you are in the perfect position to cut some of the calories in these famous holiday dishes. You can start by reducing the amount of sugar, butter, and cheese that are being added. These are some of the top ingredients in holiday dishes and baked goods and they are among the most unhealthy. Therefore, by reducing, removing or replacing unhealthy ingredients you will easily make the holidays a little more healthy.
If you are not the host of the party but rather the guest then you may be making a dish or baked goods to share with the party. If this is the case then you can at least control what you make and how you make it.
Lighten your portions
Now, it is unlikely that you can control how much each of your guests or fellow guests consumes during the holidays. However, one of the best ways to eat healthier during family gatherings is to control your own portion sizes. If you are concerned about needing to loosen your belt during dinner then it is imperative that you limit your portions. For example, instead of eating a huge scoop of mashed potatoes, dark meat cuts, and two pieces of pie try to choose healthier options that may be available to you (white meat instead of dark) or simply have a smaller amount of the desired foods.
Everything in moderation
Mirroring the previous suggestion of lightening your portion sizes is the suggestion of “everything in moderation”. As you sit down to enjoy the holiday meal, you may find that you simply can not resist the food that has been made. You find your mouth watering just looking at each delectable dish! So, do you ignore your desires and just eat a salad? You could, but ultimately your desires will not be satisfied and may then lead to a “hangry” outburst. To avoid having such an outburst simply choose to embrace your desires!
That’s right! You can eat the meat, potatoes, stuffing, and yes even the pie! How can this be when you’re trying to eat healthy during the holidays? By limiting how much of each item you consume. Instead of denying your cravings, embrace them but limit them.
Add an extra workout day
Of course, when all else fails you can always simply add an extra workout or an extra workout day to combat the food you choose to consume. In this case, you have decided that your desire for the holiday feast is so great that you simply cannot reduce unhealthy ingredients, reduce portion sizes or moderate what you are eating. If this sounds like what you may choose to do then consider amping up your exercise regime! This way, you can essentially eat whatever you want as long as you then spend the following week or more working it off. This is not the suggested method of handling holiday meals. But, it is an option all the same.
Enjoying time with family and friends should undoubtedly be the focus of this and every holiday season. The memories made should be appreciated and valued but, it is equally important to appreciate and value your health and the health of your loved ones! Enjoy the food, enjoy the holiday and enjoy each other!