5 tips to eat healthy this Christmas
BY FITZ-GEORGE RATTRAY
Sunday, December 23, 2018
IT is now Christmastime and, of course, this means more festivities and high-calorie foods at your fingertips.
It’s also much harder to stick to small portions, especially at family dinners and Christmas parties.
Eating healthy during this time will definitely be more challenging, but it is possible!
Worried about all these delicious temptations and gaining back all that weight you’ve worked so hard to shed these past months? You should be.
Research has shown that people who struggle with weight loss, even those who have successfully lost and maintained, often gain about seven to 10 pounds over the holidays! But stay calm. There are many options that will keep you on track while allowing you to enjoy these events.
Check out these five ways to keep you on track with your weight loss goals this Christmas:
1. Choose wisely
Have healthy foods first, then portion size. Choose a smaller plate with 50 per cent vegetables.
Make it a habit to always go for the proteins, vegetables and healthier foods before going for the snacks, the macaroni and cheese, or the pastry. This way, your hunger will decrease by the time you reach the more sugary and floury meal options as protein helps to curb hunger.
2. Focus on the company not the food
It is easy to get caught up with the the delicious treats and abundance of food this season, but remember that holiday parties and get-together are about the times spent with your loved ones and friends. Recognise this season is about sharing the experience with family, and not just about the food. If you are organising the festivities, include games and other interactive activities to keep everyone occupied.
3. Stick with your solutions
You know your personal reasons for choosing a healthier, leaner and fitter lifestyle. There is never a good excuse to throw those choices away, not for a day, not for a vacation, and certainly not for a season.
When you focus on your wellness, each day you are building habits that should last you for a lifetime. Saying I will wait until next year or after the season is reinforcing your habits to put off your wellness for the future. So, don’t take breaks or jump ship. Anything else is working against your goals.
Eat mindfully, chew slowly and thoroughly. In every situation, not just the holidays, mindful eating is always a good idea. In doing so, you will enjoy the meal. Cutting and swallowing your food without proper chewing is a sure way to not even realise how many calories you have already had, leading you back for seconds and thirds.
3. Avoid hunger
Starving yourself before an eating occasion is not a good idea. Your hunger will be at its absolute peak if you do this. Leading up to an event, make sure that you get some food during the day. This way you ensure that your blood sugar levels and hunger levels are more manageable, so you won’t eat everything in sight when you get to the office party or family dinner.
Be your own mental coach. In order to fight these habits and addictions, being your own mental coach is essential. Tell yourself that you will stick to your plans. Say it out loud and write it down. Let yourself know you will not slip up, not this time.
Maintain your 5P principle
Plan, purchase, prepare, package, partake… Stick to the five ITK principles: Plan your meals for each day, including weekends and the party or dinner days; purchase what you need and prepare them ahead of time; package the meals that you have prepared; and partake of them. Make sure that you have the meals that you have planned when you are supposed to have them. This will help to keep your eating goals on track on the days before, between and after parties and dinners. It works every time.
The bottom line for anyone on their weight loss journey is to adjust your mindset and perspective, only then will you drastically improve your life!
Rather than focusing on what you can or ‘can’t’ have this season, focus on your goals. Remind yourself before each gathering of what Christmas is really all about — a time to enjoy family and making happy and healthy holiday memories.
Fitz-George Rattray is the director of Intekai Academy, which is focused on helping people live a healthy lifestyle through nutrition and weight management. If you are interested in losing weight or living a healthier lifestyle, give them a call at 876-863-5923, or visit their website at intekaiacademy.org