7 Tips on How to Eat Clean During the Holidays
Just because it’s December doesn’t mean you have to throw all your healthy habits out the window. Today I am going to share with you how to eat clean during the holidays so you don’t end up like I did. Ready to learn how to eat clean and still stick to your healthy ways?
Let’s dive in.
Before I started on my own clean eating journey, I let the month of December be my excuse for not eating healthy. Ok and most of November too, if I’m coming completely clean, here. Then come January I was sluggish and had gained about 10 lbs. I was so discouraged with my lack of willpower!
Along the way I tried diet pills to control my appetite and then wraps to put on your tummy to “magically shrink the fat” I had accumulated from all those yummy Christmas cookies and Holiday dinners. Guess what? They never worked!!!
Once I got the hang of eating clean 80% of the time I came to learn that it didn’t have to be an all or nothing thing in regards to holiday food.
Start your mornings with a glass of warm water with lemon. Not only does this help to flush out your system and liver, it quenches your thirst from a long (hopefully) night’s rest of no eating or drinking. Sleep is hard work! 😉
Cook at Home
Why not have the Xmas get together at your house? By hosting the gathering of family and friends you are in control of what is being offered for food. Better yet, have a pot-luck where everyone bring a designated dish (appetizer, dessert or main dish etc). Therefore you don’t get labelled with only serving “rabbit food”. Be creative and most importantly, have fun!
Say “No” to Processed Food (Nicely)
One of the biggest lessons I learned over the past 6 years of being on a health and wellness journey is that it pays to be kind. Abruptly saying, “I can’t eat that” can turn people off, especially if you are a guest at their home or event. Trust me on this one, peeps slowly stopped inviting hubsy and I over to dinner as they thought I was being rude. To me I wasn’t, I was just really dedicated to my journey. Nowadays people know that I just don’t eat processed or “franken-food” as I call it.
If you are eating out at a restaurant, stick to the salads, and ask for dressing and extras like bacon and croutons on the side, or not at all. Be careful with meats (chicken is often processed) and soups too. Just because it says healthy on the menu, doesn’t mean it’s clean eats.
Eat Before You Go
If you sit down to a dinner out famished, or attend a cocktail party on an empty stomach, you are more likely to eat too much, choose unhealthy food options and worse yet, drink too much! You def don’t want to be “that girl” who got drunk at the office Xmas party because she didn’t eat before hand. If you know there won’t be a meal served at your event, eat a proper meal with protein (chicken, steak, fish etc.) and healthy fats (avocado, olive oil, nuts etc.) before you attend it. If the party will have sandwiches served at midnight, opt for the crudites (the veggie tray) to avoid carb-loading so late at night or before bed.
You don’t want to be the girl who got drunk at the office holiday party!
Skip the Sweets
Keep your sweet intake under control by sticking to your Meal Plan (remember to schedule your treats and cheats into your week) and steering clear of the sweets table.
At a sit-down dinner and everyone is served a sticky, warm, gooey, calorie laden dessert? Politely have 1-2 bites and then state how full you are.
I’m fairly lucky when it comes to the dessert part of our family dinners. Either I get to claim I am gluten-free and can’t eat the offending Xmas cake or cookie, or I’m simply by-passed as my family now knows I rarely eat dessert. Believe it or not, there are benefits to having IBS, and being lactose and gluten intolerant lol.
Stick to the natural sugars found in fruit by having a fruit plate if you are the hostess. You’d be surprised how many guests will appreciate the option. If you are the one assigned to bring a dessert to a pot-luck affair, problem solved.
Give booze a break
Yup, I said it. Just because you are at a party doesn’t mean you have to drink alcohol.
Say what now?? 😉 You are a grown lady and it’s your prerogative to drink or not to drink, right?!?
Hubsy and I take turns on being the designated driver so some nights it’s actually not my choice, but that’s ok. Safe driving comes before my desire to down a couple of Cab Sauvignons! The added calories from many holiday drinks are probably not what you want to have anyways and let’s face it, sparkling water is more hydrating and delish with a splash of lime!
Drink more water
Which leads me to my last tip, if you are having a few drinks, make sure to chase each one with a tumbler of water. One of the healthiest ways to ensure you are sticking to your clean eating habits during the holidays is to drink, drink and drink some more (water). Ideally you should be drinking half your body weight (in ounces) of pure water daily, anyhow. If you aren’t now is the perfect time to start! If you already do, it’s totally ok to go a little above your recommended intake if you have a very busy schedule and are feeling more stressed than usual.
At the very least be aware of what you are putting in your body during the holidays. Putting off your workouts and ditching all your hard earned habits you adopted over the past year are just not worth it. Food is meant to be enjoyed, absolutely. But you don’t need to eat everything in sight and you don’t need to indulge at every event. Pick and choose what ones you will enjoy as your treat or cheat meal and stick to your goals.