Holiday season is upon us, along with the opportunity to indulge in what I like to call ‘seasonal’ foods. Halloween candy, cornbread stuffing, pumpkin and pecan pie, mashed potatoes and Christmas cinnamon rolls are just a few of my favorite ‘seasonal’ foods. These foods are easy to find year round but there’s something about the holidays that has me craving these foods from November to January more then any other time of the year.
My plan to get through the holidays without gaining weight and still feel like I’ve enjoyed all of my favorite foods is to tune into my body through intuitive eating. What is that exactly? Intuitive eating is “a nutrition philosophy based on the premise that becoming more attuned to the body’s natural hunger signals is a more effective way to attain a healthy weight, rather than keeping track of the amounts of energy and fats in foods” (1).
Personally, intuitive eating is more about listening to my body and focusing on developing a healthier relationship with food. As someone who has tried nearly every single ‘fad’ diet out there, from Atkins to veganism, I have always had a strained relationship with food. It’s easy to label a food as bad or to obsess over fat grams, calorie count and macros. I say enough is enough, it’s time to reject the diet mentality for good!
I challenge you to follow these 5 tips this holiday season to feel your best and still enjoy the season with family and friends!
- Indulge without guilt. Yes, really I’m encouraging you to savor your grandmothers pumpkin pie, eat the mashed potatoes, and put a little butter on your roll. If you’re going to eat something, truly slow down and enjoy it with family and friends without guilt. Eat slowly and savor each bite, I think you’ll discover it takes a lot less to feel satisfied.
- Move every day, for a minimum of 30 minutes. The more you move the better you will feel! A 30 minute walk every single day is just a fraction of your day. Make it a family affair after dinner or head out first thing in the morning with a cup of coffee. Have time for a little more? Check out my 10 minute no equipment workout.
- Be aware of calories, but don’t obsess over them. A slice of pumpkin pie has an average of 300 calories per slice, a slice of pecan averages around 500. This isn’t to say you can’t have a slice of pecan pie, just that you need to balance it out for the rest of the day.
- Fill half your plate with vegetables. When you fill half your plate with leafy greens, roasted brussel sprouts, carrots or cauliflower it’s hard to over indulge in the other things. The other half should have 4-6 oz of lean protein and a 1/2 cup of whole grains or potatoes. Make sure to add a little fat, whether its a teaspoon of butter, an ounce of cheese or a drizzle of olive oil. Another tip, use a smaller plate like a salad plate for your meal.
- Drinking half your body weight in water. Hunger can sometimes be misconstrued as dehydration, so drink up. I love unsweetened sparkling water like LaCroix, herbal tea and often add fruit or cucumber slices to my water. My favorite drink to cozy up with is a mug of the Real RD’s Spiced Golden Milk Hot Cocoa.
What’s your favorite holiday recipe? How do you survive the holidays? Let me know in the comments and stay tuned for some great holiday recipes and workouts.