The holiday season can be a time of great stress and anxiety if you’re trying to either lose weight or maintain your healthy lifestyle.
A change in your daily routine and frequently eating out can make it challenging to stick to your goals. However, the two biggest issues usually come during travel or while at holiday parties, but here are some easy tips to help you breeze through the holiday season!
- Planning ahead with these useful tips before you travel helps making healthier decisions much easier:Pack raw nuts instead of buying roasted and flavored nuts. Nuts can be a healthy snack, but at most airports and roadside stores you can only find flavored nuts. When nuts are roasted and coated with various flavorings, they lose a lot of their nutritional value and add excess sugar and salt to your day. Look to raw almonds or cashews for a great snack on the go.
- Traveling with a protein bar is a great trick to avoid reaching for the empty calories of candy. Before you leave for your trip, make sure you pack several bars, especially for those long layovers.
- Throw a couple apples or pears in your bag before you head to the airport instead of relying on dried fruit. They travel well and ensure you will always have a healthy snack! While dried fruit can sometimes be a good choice, often times the kind you find at airports are packed with added sugar for sweetness.
- If you know you crave sweets, pack a 70% cacao dark chocolate bar instead of grabbing an on-the-go candy bar. Chocolate that is at least 70% cacao has known health benefits that you can’t get from candy. While you still want to watch your portions, a few squares of dark chocolate are a great way to curb the sugar cravings.
Once you’ve made it to your destination, those holiday parties can seem overwhelming, but by avoiding some foods and focusing on others, you can get through the holiday season without adding any inches to your waistline.
Foods to Avoid
Eggnog: Full of extra calories, sugar and fat! Champagne makes for a better holiday drink choice.
Cheese dips with bread: Dips are an easy way to really pile on the extra calories and fat. They’re often sitting on a table for you to continuously dip into while you’re talking with friends. Instead of constantly reaching for more, simply make a plate so you can better keep track of how much you’re eating.
Sweet potatoes with marshmallows: Sweet potatoes are in and of themselves quite healthy; however, the holiday tradition of covering the top with large marshmallows adds a ton of sugar to the meal. If this is the one holiday treat you can’t live without, try compromising by adding a few small marshmallows for a little sweetness, rather than completely covering the tray.
Pile on these foods:
Green Beans: Green beans often end up in holiday casseroles, but instead, try sautéing them with different spices such as turmeric, which has great health benefits.
Lean Meats: Choose high-quality lean meats such as turkey or chicken for some good protein on your holiday table.
Cinnamon: Adding cinnamon to sugary foods can help minimize the sugar spike you get immediately after eating. Sprinkle some in your hot chocolate or apple cider to help your body deal with the sugar you are consuming. This is not to say that adding cinnamon makes an unhealthy food healthy, but it does provide some health benefits.
Lastly, remember to always bring your workout clothes and focus on adding physical activity into your routine whenever you can.
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