This year has certainly flown by and with Thanksgiving just around the corner, the holiday season is officially upon us again!
The holidays are a wonderful time full of family, friends, warmth, and cheer. It’s also a time when most of us indulge in rich and flavorful foods and probably pack on a pound or two, leading, of course, to a renewal of our favorite New Year’s Resolution, “lose weight.” Sadly, for those trying to avoid those extra pounds, holidays can bring dread, resentment, and guilt.
Don’t let the holidays become an emotional affair with food – we’re here to help.
Food Should be a Part of the Fun
Food shouldn’t darken your holiday cheer, it’s supposed to add to the joy. After all, this shared feast brings you and your loved ones together. You can partake in those tasty holiday treats – a full table doesn’t mean you need to gorge yourself. With food, it comes down to finding a good balance. Use these tips to find the right balance for you.
- Don’t skip meals. This may be a tempting tactic, especially if you’re calorie counting. From one point of view, it may seem a good idea, because if you skip a few meals before the feast, you’ll have more calories to spare. Right?
Well, it doesn’t exactly work like that. In fact, skipping meals can cause you to overeat. Not to mention, your stomach wasn’t meant to handle so much food at once. Our advice? Stick to your normal eating schedule or at least have a couple healthy snacks throughout the day to help keep you from feeling ravenous.
- Find healthy alternatives. The great thing about the internet is the vast trove of information stored on it. You can find a recipe for any favorite holiday dish, and chances are someone somewhere has tried to make it just a bit healthier (like mashed cauliflower instead of mashed potatoes). And if they haven’t, don’t let that deter you from finding your own.
Most recipes have at least one or two ingredients that you could switch out for a healthier alternative like:
- Almond or oat milk instead of milk
- Olive or coconut oil instead of butter
- Oat flour instead of white flour
- Yogurt instead of mayonnaise
Use smaller plates. Smaller plates give you an opportunity to think about how much food you actually want to eat and leaves less room for piling on too much food. Didn’t get to try everything? Getting seconds is ok, but wait at least 10 minutes before you get up to fill your plate again, because your sense of fullness continues to grow for at least that long after eating. In other words, you’ll feel fuller 10 minutes after eating than you do when you stop.
Eat all the colors of the rainbow. This is a fantastic way to make sure you’re getting a wide range of nutrition. Holiday food arrangements often provide many colorful options from green beans to that beautiful red cranberry sauce. Try to get something for every color of the rainbow.
Bonus: It makes for a colorful holiday foodie post to brighten your Instagram feed!
- Enjoy the company. Holiday meals are best when shared with loved ones - friends or family. Take time to converse with those around you as you enjoy the meal. Not only will this brighten your spirit, but it also slows down how fast you eat. Eating at a slower pace gives your stomach more time to digest and communicate its fullness.
Enjoy the Holidays
If you happen to overindulge, don’t let the guilt kick in. For starters, you can use a digestive enzyme supplement to help your gut tackle the extra work. Our Real-Zymes™ Collection has an enzyme formula for any diet. Whether your holiday dinner was a full vegan array or all the meats, you can still find digestive relief easily.*
You can also add in some extra gym time around the holidays to help burn off the extra food. Or plan activities with your family that will get you moving around – there’s nothing quite like a walk with all the aunts, uncles, and cousins to “look” for Santa or find the best-decorated houses.
And if that guilt still comes knocking, take a second to refocus. Are you someone who usually eats healthy, mindful meals? Guess what, you’re still that person. But now you’re also the person who was able to enjoy a slice of grandma’s pumpkin pie. You know that you’re not someone who overindulges every day; make the next meal healthier and cherish those holiday memories.