“Let us remember that, as much has been given us, much will be expected from us, and that true homage comes from the heart as well as from the lips, and shows itself in deeds.”– Theodore Roosevelt
It’s a little rainy and cold outside, which means the couch is looking extra attractive and sipping on warm drinks while binge watching Netflix is a must. Plus it is that time of year for desserts, treats, and other yummy goodies. I’ve never been one for diets, but I think watching what you eat is key to stay healthy. I’m not talking about the “I will watch this pie go into my mouth” type of watching what you eat.
Intentional Eating means making a little commitment to yourself that the only time you’ll eat is when you’ve specifically thought about and prepared your meal. It’s also about choosing foods with a specific outcome in mind.
Before you beat yourself up for eating too much on Thanksgiving, lets think about it. Thanksgiving is only one day. One day isn’t going to kill your diet, break your weight loss goals, or your intentional eating. The average American actually gains about 1 lbs over the holiday season. That isn’t a huge deal, but it you continue the same habits it will add up over time. Don’t go crazy – enjoy Thanksgiving and start back up on your intentional eating on Friday. Try these 5 tips to help you get through the Holidays staying healthy and on the right track.
Don’t “Save Up”
Skipping meals sets you up to overeat later in the day. Eat a high-fiber, high protein breakfast on Thanksgiving Day and keep lunch light if you plan on eating a big dinner. Have a salad or a meal that is mostly veggies and lean protein. Also note, you are most likely to eat less if you serve your Thanksgiving dinner at the kitchen counter instead of serving it family style.
Think Before You Eat
Each time you eat a meal, think about the result you want to achieve. Do you need a few extra carbs to get you through a long run? Do you want to want to avoid the winter sniffles by choosing a vitamin-packed meal , is your aim to eat a snack that will keep you focused and productive throughout your morning (protein and good fats please!).
Put Effort Into Your Meals
Throwing down a cheese sandwich while you tap away at your computer screen, or mindlessly scoffing chips while watching tv is definitely not the path you want to go down! Preparing a meal for loved ones, carefully considering the ingredients you combine in your morning super food shake, or meeting friends for a nice dinner (just don’t go for the cheap-and-nasty pasta bake) is a celebration!
If you’re going out steer clear of menu items that are fried, breaded, buttered, and crispy. Although these sound delish, these words usually mean unhealthy. Instead go for grilled, baked, or broiled. If you’re hitting a fast food place, grab a side salad instead of french fries or get a water instead of a soda. It is small changes like this that will help you to on track.
Still struggling? You can make things easier by ordering a box of your favorite veggies to be delivered to your door each week. Companies like Eat Fit Food or Hello Fresh deliver meals and snacks right to your door. I haven’t personally tried these, but I have friends who love them and rave about it.
Bottom line is enjoy the holidays. Holiday food is amazing and creates memories. Make your family’s favorite cookies without the guilt. Take reasonable proportions and eat intentionally. Lose the all or nothing mentality. It is okay to eat healthy 80% of the time. Give yourself and break and enjoy what you’re eating.