You’ve probably gone through this before – in the midst of holiday festivities, you abandon the healthy habits you’ve been working on all year long. You tell yourself, “I’ll start eating healthy again on Jan. 1.” Meanwhile, you give in to temptation, shifting the burden to your next New Year’s resolutions.
The truth is, nutrition is important all year – even during the holidays. So even if you let yourself splurge a little, that doesn’t mean you have to throw all your best habits away until the new year begins.
“The hectic nature of the holiday season may be a tough time for many to maintain their healthy lifestyle, but it’s important not to write off your healthy lifestyle goals,” says Dr Kent Bradley, chief health and nutrition officer at Herbalife Nutrition.
In an annual survey by Herbalife Nutrition, over half (56%) of the respondents revealed that they plan on using the holidays as an excuse to postpone healthy choices – assuming they would start fresh in January. That number was up 15% from last year, showing that the added stress of 2020 may be having an impact. In fact, 49% of the global respondents said they believed they deserved more holiday treats this year because of the pandemic.
Follow some of Dr Bradley’s tips for sticking to healthier habits throughout the holidays – and beyond:
1. Remember why you established health goals
Are you trying to achieve your ideal weight, be more active or just want to take better care of yourself? Perhaps you have a specific health risk that you are working to reduce. Write the top reasons you want to stay healthy and post them where you can see them every day.
2. Snack on high-quality, nutritious foods
One way to beat temptation is to eat healthy snacks that are high in protein, curbing the desire to eat. Keep foods like raw nuts and seeds, hard-boiled eggs, lean meat and low-fat cheeses available for snacking. Snacking on your high-protein foods a little before a big meal can prevent you from over-indulging.
3. Choose colourful, balanced meals
When choosing foods at the family meal, select colourful veggies and fruits to supplement your protein, and strive for a balance of protein, veggies and grains or pasta on your plate.
4. Watch portion sizes
It’s so easy to overeat when all the food looks delicious. If you want to taste several dishes, limit yourself to a spoonful of each item so you don’t end up overstuffing. If you can, use a smaller plate so you’re not tempted to pile on. Sip water between bites to slow down and give yourself time to feel full.
5. Limit splurge days
If you want to treat yourself, remember to limit the treat to one occasion. For one special event, allow yourself a treat – but get back to your healthy habits the next morning
Resolutions are a great way to kick off the year on a positive note, but make sure you set achievable goals. Small and steady changes to your diet and fitness routine are more sustainable. And having a community to encourage and celebrate your success with you, even if virtually, can make a huge difference.
(For more nutrition advice: IamHerbalifeNutrition.com)