5 Tips For Clean Eating During The Holiday Season
Anyone who is watching his or her weight during the holiday season knows what a struggle it can be. The holidays are full of high-calorie food, parties, alcohol, and stress. All the gravy, biscuits, drinks, and desserts can really pack on the pounds, so it is important to remain mindful and plan well for the holidays. All of these things can lead to a poor diet during the holiday season.
Here are five tips that you can follow to eat clean during the holidays.
Skip The Alcohol
Most people don’t realize how many calories are in alcohol. To stick with a clean diet it may be best to stay away from alcohol together. If you are going to have a glass of wine or beer make it light. You can lighten up your wine by making it a spritzer, adding mineral water or seltzer water.
You want to avoid the higher calorie mixed drinks if you are going to have alcohol during the holiday season. Things like eggnog are loaded with calories that many people don’t count when considering how much they had to eat. Keep your drinks clean as well as your food.
Eat Before You Go
Many of us think that skipping food all the way up until the big holiday meal is the best way to save calories. This simply isn’t true.
It’s always best to eat a small salad or some raw vegetables before going to a holiday party. If you are hosting a holiday party, make sure that you eat throughout the day.
Eating throughout the day will help you maintain a normal blood sugar level and make you less hungry and less likely to overeat when the big meal comes. Nothing is worse than being famished and having a buffet of unhealthy food in front you, it almost guarantees that you will overeat.
The magazine Cooking Light suggests that you make your own meals for holiday parties. If you are going to your in-law’s house and know that they usually have high-calorie foods, offer to bring a dish. Most hosts don’t mind having one less item to prepare.
When you bring your own dish, you know what is going to be in it, down to the pinch of salt. You can skip the heavy cream and butter and go for a vegetable rich, tasty dish.
If you can’t bring a contribution to the meal, then search out platters that allow you to select simple ingredients. Vegetable platters, fruit platters, and sandwich platters let you see what is going on your plate. A plate full of vegetables and fruit with some lean meat is about as clean a holiday dish that you can get.
You can always make a salad, which is a simple item to prepare and the roughage will prevent you from over eating the bad stuff.
Whole Grain Hero
When you’re ready to make your plate search out anything that has whole grains in them. Whole-grain is full of fiber and is better for you than processed grains. Cooking Light suggests making traditional sides with whole grains instead of processed grains. A stuffing made with stone ground cornmeal, whole-wheat and vegetables is going to be healthier than the one you get out of a box.
If you prefer rice instead of stuffing with your holiday meal, make sure you select a whole-grain rice. White rice has had the husk removed. The husk is where all of the B vitamins and fiber are on the rice. Removing these shells makes for a more tender rice but a less nutritional food.
Do you know what a portion of meat looks like?
Most of us don’t. Instead of focusing on the exact portion size, you focus on the size of your plate. Our brains judge how full we are based on the amount of food that we have consumed off our plates. Selecting a smaller size plate like a salad plate or dessert plate for dinner items will help you save calories while still leaving you satisfied.
Another way to trick your brain is to use a brightly colored plate. The brightly colored plates allow you to see how much you have eaten. While this may not seem like a big calorie saver, it will make you fuller faster when you can see how much food you’ve eaten.
Now you have five simple survival techniques to eat clean during the holidays. Which ones have worked for you in the past?