For the health conscious, the holiday season is filled with pitfalls. As families and friends gather from across the country and around the world, the tables around which they gather are laden with a cornucopia of dangerous foods: rich gravy, roast turkey, carb-filled stuffing and sugary-sweet pies.
You know that eating these foods can derail months of hard work, but saying no to everything isn’t easy either. How is a person trying to build better eating habits and a healthier diet to navigate the holidays without putting a damper on the occasion and making themselves miserable in the process?
Here are four ways to keep your fitness goals this holiday season, without ruining Christmas for the whole family:
1. Use the Best Ingredients
A healthy diet is impossible without healthy food, and one of the best ways to enjoy your food without feeling guilty about it is to only serve the best local meats from sustainable, artisanal producers. A great way to do this is by ordering everything you need for your holiday roast online through a fresh meat delivery service like truLOCAL.
If you buy high quality meat online today you’ll be able to stock up in time for the holidays and be able to serve delicious, local meat that is nourishing, nutritious, and healthy for your whole family.
2. Everything in Moderation
If you have based your diet around avoiding unhealthy foods altogether, the holidays aren’t just ripe for temptation — they can also be socially awkward. Trying to explain why you won’t eat any of your grandmother’s pie because it has too much sugar can be uncomfortable, and the stress it causes can make it even harder to maintain your eating goals.
This is why moderation can be a more helpful strategy than abstinence during the holidays. Instead of cutting out unhealthy foods altogether, make a plan in advance for how many slices of turkey and pie you will allow yourself and stick to it.
3. Don’t Neglect your Fitness Routine
Striking a sensible balance between diet and exercise is an essential part of any fitness regimen. If you know you’re going to be eating more sweets and more fatty foods, one thing you can do to offset this is keep up your rate of physical exercise. Workouts involving weight lifting and intensive cardio keep your body burning energy even after the workout itself is over, which can help you feel fitter and healthier even if you are tucking into a big slice of Christmas ham.
4. Watch Out for the Alcohol and Snacks
The biggest threats to any diet don’t come from the dinner plate, but from the snack cupboard and the drinks cabinet. Periodic snacks of fudge and potato chips coupled with several glasses of wine at dinner can do more to unravel your health progress than a heaping plate of turkey and yams, so one thing you can do to keep yourself on track is to eat only during mealtimes.
Not only will it help you avoid the worst food offenders, it will also let you eat your fill in good conscience when the whole family is at table.
For people who have made a commitment to watch what they are eating, the holiday season can all-too-often lead to overeating that in turn kicks off a shame spiral that lasts well into the new year. Fortunately, there are ways to avoid this. With the right eating strategies and a little discipline, it is possible to not only survive the holidays, but even enjoy them.