Outsmart Holiday Eating

christmas-dinner-749x562The holidays might be a good time for your taste buds, but it isn’t exactly the ideal season for your waistline (looking at you, eggnog and peanut brittle).

But what if you could enjoy all the holiday extras without sabotaging your health? PURE’s mission to deliver Whole Health is here to help you dash through the season without crashing at the finish line.

Here’s how sticking to your PURE routine and a using a few tricks can help you stay healthy— from the cookie platters through the New Year’s toasts:

  • Eat Mindfully.  When you’re eating, sit back and allow yourself to truly enjoy your favorite holiday flavors. Pay attention to the taste, aroma and texture of the foods. Since it takes a few minutes for your stomach’s “I’m full signal” to reach your brain, it’s smart to take a 10-minute break after your first helping, suggests Patrick Skerrett in a Harvard Health Blog article1. “You might realize you are full or want only a small portion of seconds,” explains the author. Other than that, don’t attend a party on an empty stomach as it makes you prone to overeating. As for the dessert, eat only one or two dishes (or even just bites!) of what you really love instead of sampling every option on the table.
  • Stay hydrated.Water accounts for 60% of our body’s total weight, and we need to stay hydrated in order to maintain this ratio. Water is also necessary for several bodily functions, including maintaining our cell’s fluids and delivering nutrients. Drink plain or infused H2O as often as you can throughout the day. Limit your intake of high-calorie drinks like eggnog, martinis and margaritas. If you’re consuming alcoholic beverages over the holidays, try alternating with glasses of water in between cocktails. Your body will thank you the next morning.
  • Choose healthy substitutes.With a few simple diet tweaks, you can indulge in your favorite holiday foods without packing on serious pounds. For instance, replace sour cream with Greek yogurt in your favorite holiday recipes. Trade mashed potato with mashed sweet potato. And swap heavy dips like blue cheese dip and spinach and artichoke dip with healthier bean-based dips and homemade hummus. In addition, choose broth-based soups over heavy, cream-based ones. And opt for lighter cheeses like cottage cheese, soft goat cheese and feta cheese instead of calorie-dense blue cheese, cream cheese or reduced-fat cheddar cheese. Additionally, load up on roasted veggies and lightly-dressed salads before reaching for ham or green bean casserole. You can also sneak more vegetables into your diet by grabbing a protein and fruit or veggie-packed smoothie for breakfast or a snack.
  • Reinvent your holiday workout.It might feel like a challenge to make time for a sweat sesh when your social calendar and to-do lists are jam-packed. To stay motivated, plan your workout routine around your holiday schedule. Instead of the usual 30-minute routine, do a 15-minute workout in the morning and evening or go for a 10-minute walk twice daily. This splits your physical activity into smaller, more manageable time intervals. If you don’t have time to hit the gym, workout at home with the help of online classes and fitness apps like Carrot Fit and Fitocracy.

1. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/12-tips-for-holiday-eating-201212245718