5 Nutrition Tips for staying Fit Through the Holidays

Tip #1:  Sunday Ritual- Start one and be prepared.

The Sunday Ritual could include any number of components, but I would encourage a few key ones.  One being this is a time where you take a look at your week ahead.  What partys are this week?  What's your overall schedule?  How many times will you be away from home and having to eat out at a restaurant or party?  Based off these questions, plan.  Extra tip:  plan for encountering more "snacks and goodies" than normal in most places you visit.

Part of this plan will include Nutrition Tip #2 , meal plan.  The rest may have to do with making sure you have groceries on hand to nourish your (and for some, your families) body as well as plan to work with your schedule to be home during meal times to ensure less eating out, which supports Tip #3, eat at home as much as possible.

Other possibilities to include in your Sunday Ritual is cooking and chopping (that's not a typo) for the week.  Take time at the beginning of the week to cook EXTRA portions to save time later and chop up to-go containers of healthy options like fruit, veggies, nuts and homemade granola bars.

Tip #2:  Meal Plan- Know what meals and at what times you will need to have ingredients ready.

After following tip #1 you know your schedule for the week.  Now, take a look at every meal that you need to have healthy, nourishing food in the house for. Don't forget to include breakfast!  Make a meal plan for these meals.  It seems a bit overwhelming, but it just takes a bit of practice.  Try keeping a master list of all the meals you can think of and refer back to the list from time to time as you create this new habit.

When you have your meal plan complete, make a shopping list based off your plan.  Feel free to include healthy snacks on your plan too.  Once you have your shopping list then you can go get your groceries.  Extra tip:  DON'T go shopping hungry and stick to your list!

Tip #3:  Eat at home as much as possible- The more you eat at home the more control over the type and timing of calories you consume.

In case you aren't getting my point here, what I'm saying is BE PREPARED! The more we all can expect the treats and cookies and such to be a temptation (and perhaps an indulgence) the more we can plan ahead and fuel our body the rest of the time with healthy, whole foods that do us good!  Hey, I'm a LOVER of sweets and chocolate.  I fully support having some of of our favorites at parties, but please, that means we need to think about putting nourishing calories into our bodies the rest of the time.

Tip #4:  On a party day, eat clean and exercise- Don't throw the whole day out the window!

Just because you have a big party in the evening don't believe the lies that say the whole day will be wasted.  You can certainly work with the party in a way that sets you up for some guilt-free indulging.  But, yes, it is work.  My advice:  this is the time to bust out your healthiest meals for breakfast, lunch and snacks.  This is also the time to bust your buns.  Yep, do both.  Eat clean, healthy AND work it, baby.  Get calorically ahead by burning as may calories as you can.  With clean eating and a kick-butt workout under your belt you can feel a bit better about eating some deliciously-not-so-healthy food at your party and hopefully keeping that belt right at the same notch.  Extra Tip:  If you do some sort of H.I.I.T. workout (high intensity interval workout) you can even create a higher POST workout calorie burn.

Tip #5:  At the big event- mindful munching and don't forget alcohol counts towards calories.

This is the part where we talk about how to eat at a party (or wherever there will be temptations).  I mentioned "mindful munching."  This takes practice, but if you want to survive the holidays without the bulge, start practicing.  Mindful eating means just what it says.  Your mind is on what you're eating.  You pay attention to your food- it's color, smell, taste.  Sip. Chew.  Choose.  ENJOY!  With mindful eating YOU make the choice and you are FULLY aware of what you're choosing.  And, if you've followed Tips 1-4, then you shouldn't have much guilt over it!

Lastly, please don't forget that alcohol counts towards calories.  Alcohol yields 7 calories per gram, so keep that in mind when slamming down another egg nog during that nog drinking contest.  Eww, I know

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