At Graham Strength and Conditioning, we believe that nutrition shouldn’t be complicated. Many of our clients stress about holidays: traveling, lavish meals with friends and families, and all the treats and goodies. It is important to remember that at the end of the day, a handful of holiday meals over the course of a couple of month won’t ruin your goals.
Your nutrition coaches love to indulge in a wonderful holiday just as much as you do. Here are some of our favorite tips to utilize throughout the holiday season in order to maintain those healthy habits you have worked so hard to build all year.
1. Follow Your Normal Meal Pattern!
Skipping meals to “save” for one big holiday meal will leave your body feeling deprived and may lead to overeating or excessive snacking throughout the day. Instead, focus on balancing your meals. Try starting your day off with a balanced breakfast; something simple like this Crockpot Breakfast Casserole.
2. Bring a Healthy Dish
It’s impossible to control what other people bring to parties, so bring a healthy dish you know you can enjoy. Bringing a fall-inspired roasted veggie dish is always a reliable way to get those non-starchy carbs in. Try these other health(ier) swaps for traditional holiday foods!
- Protein Jalapeno Cornbread
- Pumpkin Pie Fluff Pudding
- Healthier Stuffing
- Healthier Green Bean Casserole
3. Use the Plate Method
By following this method consistently, you will best nourish your body and keep it fueled so you keep those cravings at bay. Aim to use the plate method as consistently as possible so you are confident in your choices when it comes to special events. Eating your veggies first will help ensure you are still getting quality nutrients, and all the fiber-rich foods will help fill you up!
Build your plate with non-starchy carbs covering half (if you bring a healthy veggie dish, you know you’ve got this covered!). Then add a starchy carb to cover a quarter and then finish off your plate with a lean protein covering the last quarter.
4. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate!
Water plays a tremendous role in many bodily functions. Water aids in blood circulation, supports metabolism, flushes out byproducts of fat, and may help you feel less hungry. If you are indulging in drinks other than water, be mindful of the sugar content (remember: less than 24 grams per day for adult women and less than 36 grams per day for adult men).
Try reaching for a seasonal sparkling water (like this Spiced Apple Cider Spindrift) or some fruit-infused water. If you are consuming alcohol, be sure to drink one glass of water in between each drink.
5. Leave the Guilt Behind!
If you veer off track, remember there are only a handful of holiday meals this season, and you will not negate all of your hard work if you have a slice of pumpkin pie! Take a deep breath and start fresh with your healthy habits to properly fuel your body the following day.
If you are still feeling stressed a bout how to approach the holiday season while staying on track, reach out to our team of certified nutrition coaches to help you set up an individualized plan. It is our goal to help you feel confident and in control of your choices.