Since the holiday season is kicking off in a couple of weeks with sugar-coated Halloween, now is the perfect time to talk about some “hacks” to stay make healthier decisions while still enjoying yourself.
“Walk” it away from the source
If you are buying that 50% off bags of candy the day after Halloween for the deal, portioning it out can help you control cravings. Go for the candies that are individually wrapped if you can, and take one at a time. If you can’t, follow the nutrition label serving size, grab that amount, put the bag back, and “walk away!"
Practice mindful eating
The term “mindfulness” was first defined by Jon Kabat-Zinn as “paying attention in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally”1. This means being present when you are consuming food, taking the time to enjoy it. Chew slowly and allow yourself to focus on the food. The more you do this, you will learn your hunger cues and know when you are full.
Attending a holiday party? Bring some water!
It can be easy at holiday parties and family gatherings to fall into old habits when you see all the snacks and beverage choices. Bringing your own water to sip on will allow you to keep hydrated and fill up so you have less room for all the snacks. Try splurging on fancy sparkling water to bring with you, such as Pellegrino or Perrier. Sticking with water at a party alone will easily cut your calories. Additionally, try waiting for in-between snacks instead of continuously reaching. Maybe take a lap around the party to talk to some other friends. This way, your hunger cues will settle in. Don’t rely on eating at parties alone. Continue to eat normally during the day so that you won’t overeat at parties when there is a ton of less healthy food options.
Going to a friend’s party? Consider if it’s close enough to walk. Take the kids for a little longer route when trick-or-treating. Try and get the family outside for a game (maybe touch football?) during gatherings. Try and aim for at least (3-5) 30 minutes of active time during the week. You will be surprised if you make little changes daily how quickly it will all add up!
Most important: Remember to enjoy yourself!
It is important to remember that we are all human. It is okay to make mistakes, everybody does it- don’t be hard on yourself. Remember: restrictive dieting isn’t realistic and cannot be maintained all the time! Make the best choices you can: Try the foods your friends or family members made for you with care. Stop when you are full. And most important, enjoy yourself in the upcoming holidays.
Hopefully, you found this helpful and will be able to recall these tips when you are in the middle of the holiday season. You can always reach out to a Dietitian for ideas that are tailored to your needs. Most importantly, have a safe and fun holiday season!
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