How not to be glutinous this holiday season 2021

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While food and gifts are sometimes what many look forward to during the holiday seasons, it shouldn’t be the only things one looks forward to. We can unknowingly be whisked away by gluttony when we face a delicious food spread, however the holidays should be a joyous time focused around family and friends instead.

Below, you’ll find that a little planning and orientation goes a long way, and soon, you’ll be able to manage holiday temptations while enjoying time with the people you love.

Healthy Habits to adopt

1. Stick to a Routine

Beniaminovitz believes having a strict diet and exercise regimen — eating the same meals at the same time each day, and not deviating too much from that routine — is the best way to avoid holiday gluttony. This is to help you to stay on track so it is not so challenging come the first of the year and it is also a great tip for maintaining a heart-healthy diet all year round.

2. Avoid Foods With Saturated Fat

High-fat foods and foods rich in dairy should also be avoided, recommends Dr. Tolani. Try opting for heart-healthy foods like lean proteins, lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, and high-fiber whole grains, which can be a part of the holiday meal prepping and planning.

3. Use Tech 

This new way of accountability such as calorie counting apps, food trackers, and heart-health monitoring apps can be helpful year round as a digital accountability partner, suggests Tolani.  

4. Take Your Time

“It takes about 20 minutes for the brain to get the message that your stomach is full,” says Everyday Health’s staff nutritionist Kelly Kennedy, RD. “If you keep eating during this time, you can eat a lot more than your body really needs. Slow down, chew your food well, and put your fork down between bites to prevent overeating.” Tolani suggests that drinking water in between bites can help you pace yourself, too.

5. Plan Ahead

“Have a plan before you arrive at a holiday gathering,” advises Kennedy. She notes this could involve eating a healthy snack right before you arrive, drinking lots of water during the day, or planning to have a small portion of your favorite holiday treat. The key, she says, is to “know what works for you and stick to it.”

6. Focus on the Company

“It’s easy to get swept up in all of the food at a holiday event,” says Kennedy. “Instead of making food the center of your day, focus on visiting with friends and family. Take time to make conversation between bites and you’ll eat less and enjoy your visit more.” When the holiday season draws to a close for another year, you’re more likely to remember the time spent with loved ones than the meals themselves.

The bottom line

The holiday season goals this year is to be  joyous, warm, exciting, and many more. My suggestion is not to be so hard on yourself.  At the end of the day, body shaming, or fat-shaming yourself about enjoying these once-a-year treats is not good for your emotional wellbeing and mental health. Instead, let’s all try to make a choice this holiday season to enjoy with moderation in order to avoid doing extra work after the New Years.  embrace it, enjoy the moment, and move on guilt-free.

Resources: Heart Health: How to Avoid overeating during the holidays by Everyday health

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