The holidays are just around the corner! You're probably wondering how you enjoy the holiday meals without completely derailing your healthy lifestyle efforts. There's nothing more deflating than taking 5 steps back after it took you months to take 10 steps forward. So I'm here to give you a plan that will allow you to enjoy the holidays without feeling deprived or deflated.
First, make sure you're drinking plenty of water and drink at least 8 ounces of water just before you sit down to eat. Next, fill at least 1/2 of your plate with a fresh, non starchy vegetable. Preferably this vegetable would be raw and without a sauce or dressing already added to it. If there's a sauce or dressing you want to put on the vegetable be conscious of your serving size. Third, fill 1/4 portion of your favorite starchy vegetable. If there are sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes and stuffing- pick your favorite or a bite of each- whatever you have room for on 1/4 of the plate. Last, fill that plate with protein! Keep in mind that if you're planning to add gravy, butter or other fat containing extras to your food then you should stick with a lean meat. If you're doing pretty well steering clear of the high fat dishes then feel free to go with that dark, fattier meat. Last but not least, pick an extra food item. This is a holiday after all. This could be the dinner roll or bread on the table OR a small portion of the yummy dessert that's going to be served.
Always show up to dinner with a plan in your head about what you're going to pass along without partaking at the dinner table. This should be the foods that you don't enjoy the most or don't think you'd really miss that much if you didn't have them. For example, the bread or dinner rolls are probably not unique to your holiday meal. Maybe in years past you'd take a certain side dish to be polite- that's the one you pass along without taking.
There are so many more strategies for holiday health that I'll be sharing in other posts so stay tuned. But for now, get your plate strategy worked out. Remember, fail to plan then plan to fail.