The holidays are awesome. We get to spend some much needed time with family and friends, yet for the majority of people, their health suffers.

Why?

There’s no excuse to give up your healthy eating habits and throw exercise to the wind with the “I’m just too busy” excuse. Wouldn’t it be nice to bring on the New Year feeling AMAZING, rather than bloated, tired, and with the same New Year’s resolution of “I will lose 15 pounds!!”

How about not making your New Year’s resolution: “This year, I will go skydiving, take a trip to Europe with my husband, and make family game night part of our routine” – now THOSE are much more exciting!

They’re possible. Be proactive with your healthy eating and plan ahead for the holiday season, so you’re not reactive and struggling with what to eat.

Here are five great tips to ensure healthy eating during festivities:

1- Bring a healthy dish to the party! There’s nothing worse than going to a party and feeling like you can’t participate. More often than not, the food available won’t be the most nutritious… so bring your own! You’ll know for sure there will be something you can have and you’ll be contributing to the party. Be sure to bring enough for everyone!

2- Eat the healthiest items first and really enjoy your meal! It’s hard to not pick at the hors d’oeuvres or at other appetizers laid out before the main meal, but think of how great you’ll feel after having resisted that temptation! Make good choices; eat the soup and salad first and you’ll be more full than you think before you know it! Eat slowly and savor your food (remember it’s a party, enjoy it, and give your body time to process what it’s eating).

3- Fill your plate with low-calorie items! Seems obvious enough, but really try it! If you make a conscious decision first thing first, you will probably be less likely to re-fill your plate once it’s done.

4- Don’t go shopping hungry! As the saying goes: our eyes are bigger than our stomachs. Eat a good meal before hitting the mall because we all know that mall food court is full of junk.
Fun tip: Avoid fast food restaurants that emphasize the color red. Red is a color of energy and has been shown to stimulate appetite as it’s associated with impulsiveness and excitement. (sendmethemanager.com)

5- Keep a holiday food journal. This is a great thing to do all year around, but more so during the holiday season when you’re expecting to have more events scheduled (and let’s face it, all these events will likely be food-centric). It’s easy to lose track of what you’ve eaten through the day and evenings so write it down! That will help you assess how much bandwidth you have for food/drink at your upcoming activity… and it works!

So, there you have it! We know these tips are easier said than done… but looking and feeling good is not always easy.

It takes discipline and a bit of work from your end.

Keep these tips in mind through the entire year and make them part of your lifestyle!

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