By Bridget Zukowski, Registered Dietitian
‘Tis the season for overeating and consuming our favorite unhealthy foods. But there are a few simple things we can do to avoid overindulging:
- Keep your regular meal and snack schedule. Skipping breakfast and snacks to save calories for the holiday meal, appetizers, and desserts might sound like a good strategy, but it can actually do more harm than good. Arriving hungry can lead to overeating. Balanced breakfast and snack ideas include avocado toast, spinach and tomato omelet, string cheese and apple slices, oatmeal with blueberries, and Greek yogurt with fruit and walnuts.
- Don’t drink (too many) calories. Fun, festive cocktails might be on the menu and they may be pretty and delicious, but they usually come with calories and added sugars. Aim to mix in water, seltzers, and other calorie-free beverages as often as possible.
- Move your body. You don’t necessarily need to hit the gym for an intense lifting and cardio session. A walk is a great way to stay active during busy, festive days. You can take some time for yourself and head out for a walk in the morning before chaos ensues or maybe a post-dinner walk with family to look at holiday lights and enjoy each other’s company.
- Choose treats wisely. Try to plan ahead and figure out what indulgences you are going to have for the day. It is okay to be selective and it is definitely okay to really enjoy the special foods that you don’t often enjoy.
- Practice mindfulness. Take your time to chew, take sips of water in between bites, and enjoy the food as well as the people around you. If you slow down, you can give your brain enough time to get the signal that you are full so you can stop eating and avoid that overstuffed feeling.
Remember that this is only a season that consists of a few days and events. If you splurge or overindulge, try not to feel guilty. You don’t need to wait until 2022 to get back to healthier habits. You can start fresh the next day or even the very next meal.
If you would like to develop an individualized nutrition plan to help feel your best, please connect with an Amwell Nutritionist today!