The holidays are often the most difficult time of year to stay committed to our nutrition. Days are likely filled with countless shopping trips, attending holiday parties, and juggling work and family responsibilities. It becomes easier to just grab anything or to completely forget to fuel ourselves! Try incorporating these simple tips and tricks to help you “health proof” your way through the bustle of the holiday season.
1.Your first line of defense
Fuel yourself with a healthy breakfast that includes at minimum:
- A complex carb with fiber to keep you full longer such as oats and multigrain options
- A lean protein like eggs, cottage cheese, or turkey bacon to feed all of your muscles (including your brain)
A big bonus is adding dark leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, or asparagus because they provide a boost of vitamins and minerals. Or choose a vegetable higher in water content like peppers and cucumbers to fill you up. One easy way to sneak in fruits and veggies into your breakfast is to make yourself a smoothie. Anything you can prep the night before will save you time in the morning!
2. Join the “Pack Your Lunch” club
Aim to bring your lunch with you at least 3 times a week so you can ensure you are making healthier choices and also saving money! Even if you work at home, have your lunch prepped and ready for you to eat so you don’t skip a meal!
3. Build your own vending machine
Especially during the holidays cookies, cakes, and all types of treats will tempt you. Make sure you are stocked up with whole grain crackers and cereal, plain popcorn and small portions of unsalted nuts at home, work or when on the go. If you have a fridge at work, fill it with nutritious snacks such as fruit, raw vegetables, low fat cheese, yogurt, and hummus. Invest in an insulated bag so you can pack up your meals and take them with you.
4. Stay hydrated!!!
Often times we think we are hungry when instead our bodies are dehydrated. Keep a water bottle with you at all times. Even setting a timer is a great way to remind you to guzzle! You want to aim to drink at least half your body weight in ounces.
5. Bonus tips for healthier choices
Don’t work while you eat…this can set you up to eat more than your body needs…put your work to the side for 15 to 20 minutes.
If you absolutely MUST grab something on the go or are eating out do your best to find healthier choices that are higher in fiber and lower in sugar. Be sure to include a complex carbohydrate, lean protein, and a vegetable so you are eating a more balanced meal. If salads are your go-to make sure to ask for the dressing on the side.
Practice these tips consistently and you will not only stay on track during the holidays but will reap the benefits long-term!