With Thanksgiving and Hanukkah only days away, I decided to write a post to help our readers and clients navigate the holidays without veering off track of your nutrition or training goals. Take note- even if you aren't an athlete, this tips are useful for everyone.
The holidays are a tricky time for many, even athletes.There are so many parties and events full of friends, family and fun, but also food- most of it delicious, laden with calories and likely to add inches to our waistlines. Try some of the suggestions below to take the stress and weight gain out of your holiday season this year.
If you’re attending events:
- Eat before you get to the party- This will help prevent overeating. This is your chance to get in the “good” food. This is especially important if you are on a precise nutrition plan.
- Pay attention to portion size – try everything, but take small amounts. Fill up ½ your plate with salad or vegetables, and you’ll have less room for the bad stuff.
- Keep an eye on your alcohol consumption- the more you drink, the more likely you are to lose inhibitions and overeat. Also, many cocktails are full of sugar, so stick to plain liquors, diet beverages/sodas, and wine. Avoid cocktails, beer, egg nog etc. The best bets are wine spritzers or liquor and soda (vodka and soda, etc.)
- Bring a healthy option to the party. See below for how to do this. You’ll have something to fall back on if all nutrition-hell breaks loose, and you might find other guests and even the host/hostess are grateful.
- Stay hydrated- drink water. Thirst is often mistaken as hunger.
If you’re hosting:
- Try providing smaller plates and glasses to help your guests with portion control.
- Swap out a hefty dessert for a festive fruit salad. Spruce it up further with fresh chopped herbs like mint or rosemary and a splash of liquor like rum or triple sec for more pizzazz.
- Get rid of the chips and instead, opt for veggies and dip. Nearly all dips can be made with low fat yogurt, sour cream, etc. without sacrificing flavor.
- Cook up your favorite healthy holiday dishes to share with friends.
- Make pitchers of festive, flavored sparkling water using fruit and herbs. Try lemon cucumber, blueberry pomegranate or cranberry orange.
- Incorporate physical activity to your party. Dancing is one easy fun way to do this! Wii games are another popular and fun option.
Remember, you can still eat delicious holiday foods and enjoy yourself without sacrificing all your hard work. Take the time to enjoy your friends and family- emotional satisfaction is just as important as physical fitness.
Happy Holidays & Happy Eating!
Eat Well, Live Well-
Rebekah Langford, RD, CDN
Rebekah is a Registered Dietitian/Culinary Nutritionist from the NYC area, who is currently accepting new clients. She earned two culinary degrees at Johnson & Wales University, followed by a dietetic internship and fellowship at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. She has worked in hotels, restaurants, top hospitals and private homes in Washington, Rhode Island, Tennessee New York City and more. She specializes in eating disorders, sports nutrition, food allergies, vegan/vegetarian nutrition, baking and culinary nutrition. Her favorite past-times are gardening, trying new restaurants and bars, television and playing with her Frenchie, Penelope Tuesday.