By Adam DuPree RD/LDN, Clinical Nutrition Manager
Now that Thanksgiving is over, we are right in the middle of the holiday season. Often a time of joy and excitement it can easily become a time for stress and anxiety. Many of us will lose track of our healthy habits and veer off course but that can be difficult to recover from. One strategy for overcoming this is to maintain your normal eating pattern but adjust slightly to fit in some seasonal favorites. Here are some tips to help manage your diet this holiday season:
- Eat healthy most of the time so you can splurge without too much guilt.
- Arrive with a plan so you can manage your portions and choices.
- Eat something light before-hand, this will prevent you from overeating.
- If everything looks too good, simply decrease your portions and enjoy in moderation.
- Survey all your food choices before plating to avoid over-filling or use a smaller plate.
- Start with vegetables, fruits, and lean meats so you are less likely to overdo it on other foods.
- Be aware of your beverage choices too. Seasonal drinks can add up the calories very quickly.
- Eat slowly and stop eating when you are full; There will likely be leftovers that you can eat again.
Another aspect of our health that might get away from us during this time is stress. With gatherings of family and friends, work parties, and travel, the scheduling and logistics might make you worried. Some ideas for alleviating your anxiety might include:
- Plan ahead â€“ put your events on a calendar and decide what you will bring.
- Be prepared â€“ have your ingredients and food items in advance so you donâ€™t feel rushed.
- Enjoy â€“ try not to become overwhelmed by â€śunhealthyâ€ť, itâ€™s only a couple days of the year.
- Stay active â€“ your normal exercise and physical activity will reduce stress buildup.
- Get enough sleep â€“ adhere to your regular sleeping pattern to avoid fatigue.
- Drink plenty of water â€“ dehydration can make you feel tired and disrupt your plans.
Most importantly, focus on the time you will be spending with family and friends and enjoy this special time of year and what it has to offer. Happy Holidays!