November 17th, 2018
Thanksgiving meal

5 Healthy Tips For Big Holiday Meals From A Fitness Pro

With the holidays quickly approaching, it can be easy to stress yourself out about how you’ll stay on track with your fitness goals while still enjoying time with loved ones.

The holidays often center around food filled celebrations and decadent desserts, but there’s no need to panic. With a few simple tips in mind, you can go to your next holiday meal confident in your ability to balance food, friends, and fitness.

1. Stay Hydrated

An easy way to keep yourself bloat-free this holiday season is to stay hydrated. When we drink enough water, our body remains balanced, flushing out sodium and other toxins that we ingest from day to day. Without proper hydration, our bodies retain water (bloat) in an effort to hold onto any water that might be in our system to use in the detox process.

Drinking a few glasses of water throughout the day will not only help you avoid excessive bloat from salty holiday meals, but will also keep you feeling fuller longer.

Often times when we feel hungry, it’s actually just thirst, so have a glass of water before your meals or when cravings strike and wait a few minutes before diving into the food.

2. Bring A Dish

Flexible dieting example meal
Bringing a dish that you’ve prepared is not only polite and helpful to your host or hostess, but is also a great way to ensure there’s something on the table you feel great about eating.

There’s plenty of cheesy, salty, creamy dishes filling out the holiday spread, so offering to bring your favorite roasted vegetables or a creative salad creation can add more variety to your options.

While you should indulge and enjoy yourself fully during the holidays, it’s always a good idea to have a few lighter options to balance out the heavier menu items. Pick out your favorite lightened up recipe, and bring it for the whole crowd to enjoy!

3. Be Mindful

Another simple, yet often overlooked tip for the holidays, is to be mindful while you’re eating. Mindful eating is something we can strive for every day, whether it’s a holiday or not, but on special occasions the distractions and food seem to come in abundance.

Being mindful while eating means to pay attention to your body, physically and mentally. Take a pause to experience the different flavors, textures, and aromas on your plate. Choose the foods that appeal the most to you, that taste the best to you, and remember that you aren’t obligated to eat anything you don’t truly enjoy.

Slow down between bites or courses to reflect on your hunger and fullness cues, and to see if you’re eating for enjoyment, or simply because the food is in front of you. Being mindful truly means being present.

4. Practice Moderation

Snickerdoodle Hummus
Approaching any meal with a restrictive mindset, or telling yourself you aren’t allowed to eat certain things, is a sure fire way to end up overeating. Rather than restricting yourself from foods, give yourself permission to eat anything that appeals to you, and focus on your portion sizes.

Use your palm as a baseline guide for a serving, so that you can try a bit of everything on the table without overdoing it. Remember, our eyes are sometimes bigger than our stomachs, so before going back for another slice of pie, ask yourself if you’re truly hungry.

5. Enjoy Yourself!

Enjoying yourself, guilt free, is such an important part of being healthy this holiday season. Health is not only physical, but mental as well, so be kind to yourself and allow yourself to enjoy these special foods and indulgent meals without guilt.

Even if you ate more than you planned to over the holidays, don’t dwell on that. Instead, savor every bite of your meals, and commit to a new routine once the festivities have ended.

Feeling guilty about foods you ate or gym sessions you missed will not help you progress, so remember to always keep looking forward and setting new goals.

Heather Roberts

Heather is a 24 year-old personal trainer and fitness nutritionist living in Boston, MA. Heather has competed in bodybuilding and is now learning powerlifting. She loves learning new training techniques and diversifying herself as an athlete. Heather works with nutrition clients to help teach them flexible dieting and how to create a maintainable healthy lifestyle. Her belief is that consistency is key and everything can be enjoyed in moderation. Heather has used her social media platforms to connect with other open-minded, fitness-loving individuals who share a passion for food and healthy living! Connect with her on Instagram @heatherrfit.

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