With the holidays right around the corner, your healthy lifestyle habits are about to be put to the test! The cold weather doesn’t help, since it makes it much easier to stay home and indulge. I mean, it’s not bikini season for quite a few months, right?! That might be true, but that kind of thinking now will get you in big trouble later!
Because by the time New Year’s Eve arrives, suddenly you’ll be panicking! You’ll be anxious, stressed out and regretful of the unhealthy decisions you made. Sound familiar? And then your New Year’s resolution will be to lose weight (for the fifth year in a row). So, how do you switch things up and avoid the temptations and holiday weight gain this year?
I mean, right now it’s pumpkin spice everything and pretty soon it will be time for eggnog and holiday cookies… It never ends! But it starts with a decision. You have to decide to stay in control while everyone else is engorging themselves. Do this by using these tried-and-true tips to successfully resist holiday temptations and make brand-new New Year’s resolutions.
Here’s what you need to do…
- Stick to Your Meal Prep Goals
- Crush Sweet Cravings Like A Pro
- Handle Holiday Stress Wisely
1. Stick to Your Meal Prep Goals
Make and Store Healthy Food Options
Successful meal preparation starts with the right ingredients. You need to get yourself some easy-to-make, clean eating recipes with nourishing, whole food ingredients that fuel your body. You also want to make low-calorie choices that help you maintain a healthy weight. The number one key to avoiding holiday pitfalls is to prepare healthy food for yourself daily during this chaotic season.
Then, make sure you’re diligent about eating proper portions of healthy meals and snacks every few hours so you keep your blood sugar levels stable and aren’t as tempted to indulge. One of the biggest mistakes you can make during the holidays (especially at parties) is to skip meals to “save yourself” for the delicious, indulgent foods! As your hunger builds along with the smells in the kitchen, all of your self-control will go out the window.
The BEST thing you can do is to eat something healthy beforehand! This can be as simple as drinking a meal replacement shake or even having an appetite-suppressing snack right before you walk out the door. Use this guide at the grocery store to ensure you always have healthy options on hand…
Grocery Store Tips
Tis’ the season for sales on baked goods! Stay far, far away from the bakery section and do NOT go to the store hungry or without a plan. You tend to buy more baked goods and sugary foods when you go shopping hungry. And when you don’t make a game plan in advance, you may wander around and buy things you don’t typically need. Make sure to plan ahead to save on miscellaneous spending.
Top Healthy Food Swaps:
Table sugar: Stevia, fruit
Full-fat dairy: non-fat/low fat, Greek yogurt, coconut milk, almond milk
Butter: olive oil, avocado, or coconut oil
Excessive salt: cut the salt measurement in half and depending on the dish use other substitutes like non-salted garlic, onion powder or Mrs. Dash
White flour: whole grain, almond, amaranth, banana, chickpeas, and coconut flour
Pasta: zucchini noodles
Mashed potatoes: mashed cauliflower
Practice Portion Control
To properly store and take the healthy meals you make on-the-go, invest in some convenient meal prep containers. But before you can do that, you need to be able to recognize proper portions.
When you’re packing your containers (or adding food to a plate at a party for that matter), think about following the guidelines, below. This will ensure you get the most low-calorie, nourishing options for every meal.
- 1/2 the plate vegetables
- 1/4 the plate with high fiber carbohydrates
- 1/4 the plate protein (3-6 ounces lean meat or 20-60 grams total)
- Small serving of healthy fats: 1 ounce or one small handful
BYOD (Bring Your Own Dish)
You know you will need to bring a dish to a party over the holidays… so bring something healthy! Be that person that has the best-tasting recipe without the extra calories. Even better, you can even get everyone else on board, too, by encouraging others to prepare healthier dishes. Then you can use the healthy leftovers for your meal prep the following week!
2. Crush Sweet Cravings Like A Pro
Sweet treats are one of the biggest temptations during this season and reason for holiday weight gain. And the thing about sugar is that it’s VERY addictive. Which is why, ideally, it may be better to just say NO to sweets altogether. To satisfy sugar cravings, try an alternative with healthier benefits, like tasty and nutritious meal replacement shakes in sumptuous flavors like Gingerbread and Vanilla Chai.
Remember that a lot of times when you’re craving sweets or foods in general, you’re actually thirsty, not hungry. Having a healthy beverage that can stop sugar cravings is the way to go. Try a metabolism-boosting lemonade, a detox tea or superfood green juice that tastes awesome and nourishes your body.
Instead of grabbing for that sweet soda, sugar-laden juice or third cup of coffee, try healthy alternatives that hydrate you while also helping you with your health and weight loss goals. You can also make lots of yummy meal replacement shake recipes using a protein powder that’s low in calories, high in nutrients and tastes delicious.
Here are 3 recipes that incorporate a low-calorie meal replacement shake…
What you need:
2 scoops 310 Salted Caramel Shake
3 ripe bananas
1/2 cup peanut butter
3 tbsp cocoa powder
Gingerbread Eggnog Protein Shake
What you need:
2-3 ice cubes
1/2 cup low-fat eggnog
1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 scoop 310 Gingerbread Shake
Pinch of ground cinnamon
What you need:
1 scoop 310 Vanilla Shake
3 cups Greek yogurt
½ cup strawberries
½ cup blueberries
¼ cup coconut flakes
¼ cup chopped nuts
¼ cup cacao nibs
3. Handle Holiday Stress Wisely
So many things about the holidays can be stressful! Whether it’s trying to score Black Friday deals, last minute shopping, or worrying about overcooking the turkey, tensions can run high. Don’t let holiday planning and preparation be an excuse to cheat on your clean eating diet or weekly exercise routines. If you’re too busy to hit the gym, try exercising at home. Working out can relieve a ton of stress! Using resistance bands, small weights, a yoga ball and yoga mats at home can be easier than you think. You can even follow online workout routines in social communities such as this one; they are also great in order to stay motivated and connect with others on their own health journeys.
Let’s face it, as much as you love your family, sometimes seeing more of them around the holidays can be stressful! Whether it’s pressuring you to try their unhealthy dishes or bringing up controversial topics like politics or personal issues, it can be a bit overwhelming. All this drama can increase emotional eating!
Stay calm by creating some personal boundaries for yourself. You aren’t hurting anyone’s feelings if you say NO to their food, and if you don’t like the topic of conversation, walk away. Having some hard and fast rules for yourself, not just in relation to clean eating, but for any stressful topics that arise, is the best way to stay in control. And it’s the best way to stay healthy in your mind, body and spirit in the midst of holiday chaos.
So, go ahead and put all of this advice into action and get ready to make some brand-new resolutions this New Year’s Eve! The sky’s the limit when you’re proud of yourself and feel great about the choices you’ve made over the holidays. You can do it!