Easter. New Years. Birthdays. Memorial Day. Christmas. Anniversaries. Labor Day. Thanksgiving. Independence Day.
What do all of these holidays and special occasions have in common? Whether you grill out or order in, these well-known days often revolve around one thing: FOOD! That’s right, the unending buffet, rich with savory sides, succulent meats and mouthwatering desserts. Unfortunately, these little temptations can be precisely what derails your efforts of living a healthful lifestyle. So, how do we travel through these special days to reveal the light at the end of the tunnel?
Tips and Tricks to Overcome the Food Baby
You have worked so hard to stay consistent with your exercise regimen, so don’t let one day detach you from your calendar. Getting your blood flowing with some aerobic exercise such as walking, jogging, cycling or dancing can decrease your food cravings. So wake up on your holiday morning to a little bit of regular exercise to ensure you don’t overeat at your celebratory meal.
With holidays and special events, moderation is absolutely key to your success of staying focused on healthy eating! Aim to keep your meal to one entree and two or three sides (preferably vegetables). If you know dessert is on your personal agenda then skip a side and replace it with your must-have sweet. Challenge yourself by cutting your treat in half!
If you know yourself well enough to admit that you struggle with portion sizes, then try to match your plate to the recommendation of ChooseMyPlate. Despite your efforts, you may notice your plate looking more like a mound or a mountain, so grab a smaller dessert plate to ensure your meal is within your daily caloric intake.
Planning ahead is a crucial way to overcome the food baby
This is most likely not your first rodeo. So, go ahead and have a plan (A, B, C, etc.) ahead of time. If you know the cake is your biggest temptation, bring a healthier alternative to fill up on instead. Maybe you already know there will be 30 options of tempting foods. Pre-select three to four of your favorites to chow down on and enjoy.
Filling up with something beneficial for your body such as water can help you from overeating. Try drinking 16 ounces of water 30-60 minutes before your meal to feel full beforehand. You can even add a green tea bag to your water to super-charge your fat burn during your meal.
Vegetables and whole grains make you feel full longer because many of them contain sufficient amounts of fiber. So begin your meal with a decent helping of these options to begin filling you up. That way, when you go back for seconds you will be less tempted to overfill your plate with less nutritious choices.
– CASEY EDMONDS, CHC