Let's face it. Not even the healthiest of people can withstand some of the most delicious traditional foods that come along with holidays. It's an overload of side after side until you wind up on the couch in the fetal position with tons of discomfort. We've definitely all been there, but this year we can plan ahead. Making a few of these small changes will assist you to a healthier holiday and way less regret.
1. DO NOT skip breakfast
It's a common mistake to think that not eating breakfast will allow you to "save" your calories up for your indulgences later, but this move will hurt you big. Skipping breakfast will cause your body to go into starvation mode and have you snacking on not-so-healthy options or craving salt and sugar. It is important to maintain stable blood sugar levels throughout the day to lose weight and balance hormones. Stick to your normal schedule of 3 meals a day. Your breakfast should be a healthy mix of protein, fat and carbohydrates to keep you fueled up and away from the snack table.
2. Drink water
Holidays are always so distracting that we forget our simple daily rituals that make up a big part of our healthy lifestyle. When we deprive ourselves of water and become dehydrated the body will send mix signals and mistake thirst for hunger. Try drinking a couple 8-ounce glasses of water before you leave the house to go to your festivities to keep you body on the right track. Opt for hot tea, ginger is the best, to aid in digesting your food.
3. Hold off a bit on the alcohol - or skip it
The liver is the main organ of detoxification. Since the liver will already be stressed from an over consumption of food, you may want to give it a break for the day. If you are going to responsibly indulge in some adult beverages, make sure you do not drink on an empty stomach. Wait until you are sitting down to eat dinner to enjoy the beverage with your meal or after you've had a few appetizers. The body can only oxidize one drink per hour so try to stick with that theme throughout the day. Refill your wine glass with sparkling water in between to continue hydration.
4. Make a perfect plate
Some of you have heard me talk about eating for your macro nutrients in other blogs. Like I mentioned earlier, this is a healthy mix of protein, fat, and carbohydrates. When you make a plate, make sure to grab a little from each category. This will fuel your body properly with the nutrients it needs and help you bounce back the next day from the overindulgence. Wait at least 10-15 minutes before you grab a second plate and ask yourself before you go... Am I still actually hungry?
5. Wait an hour to have dessert
Immediately eating sugar right after a good meal confuses your digestive system and pushes the good nutrients directly into fat. Let your food digest for a good hour before you have some sweets. Or you can simply use your sweets as your "second dinner" later if you are hitting multiple family locations. Excess amounts of sugar puts a lot of stress on your brain and endocrine system. We can reduce the amount of damage this does by simply checking in with our bodies after the meal and not eating the dessert until were actually hungry again.
If you are looking for a good breakfast to fuel yourself with, you can try 3 of my favorite options:
An important word about the next day...
So all of these tips flew out the window as soon as you walked into Aunt Ida's? You blew it right? So you might as well keep eating bad right?
It's what we do in the next 24 hours that can make or break you getting out of this hole and back on track. The morning after, try this green smoothie recipe. It has ginger and cilantro which will aid in reducing inflammation of the body and eliminate toxins from the liver and colon. Stick with high protein, high fat diet the next day so the body has time to process the carbohydrate and sugar overload. For more information on Macro-nutrients, visit my blog here.
Happy Healthy Holidays!!
XO Jaclyn Renee