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Most dieters would agree: one of the toughest times of the year when it comes to sticking to your weight loss and fitness goals is the December holidays – Christmas time!
This also applies to people who aren’t even officially dieting but are either watching what they eat or are on a specific diet program.
A Month of Dietary Temptations…
For a full month at least, we’re hit with high-calorie temptation at every turn. The grocery shelves are stocked with a dizzying array of holiday-themed goodies. All the stuff with red-and-green packaging, or the gingerbread-spiced and wintry-mint versions of our favorite cookies and sweet snacks. Yum, right?
It’s not easy to pass by those scrumptious, ganache-drizzled, and crumb-topped goodies that beckon enticingly from the coffee shop window. Or how about just wanting to make a beeline into the nearest fast-food restaurant after a grueling afternoon of holiday shopping? Or wanting to grab a handful of Christmas candy from one of the many glass bowls placed in numerous lobbies during the season?
No doubt, the holiday season makes it difficult for even the most disciplined dieters to stay on track with healthy eating. However, instead of completely caving to cravings, we can certainly enjoy ourselves when out and about and faced with fantastic foods everywhere we go.
Keep Your Eye on the Ball During the Holidays
Here are some tips for how to not completely lose sight of your weight loss plan at Christmas time.
1. Don’t skip that trip to the grocery store.
One of the best ways we can make sure to always have healthy meals and snacks available is by keeping our pantry stocked with healthy choices. Think veggies and fruits, whole-grain crackers, healthy proteins such as nuts, cheese, boiled eggs, tuna, lean lunch meats, and plain yogurt or cottage cheese.
2. Meal prep in advance.
We’re more likely to order out or grab something fattening on the go if we know there’s little to no food in the fridge. Make meals ahead of time, then store in containers in the fridge so family members can heat up a quick meal during at-home pit stops from here to there.
3. Never shop on an empty stomach.
This applies not just to grocery shopping, but also if you’re braving the mall crowds at this busy time of year.
If you’re super busy, consider taking a shortcut – like grabbing the already-sliced versions of your favorite snacking veggies. Many grocery stores now offer healthy, made-for-you meals if you really find yourself short on dinner options.
4. Choose the healthier option at holiday parties.
If you’re eating low-carb, then focus on filling your plate with simple clean fare. Steer clear of those puff pastry appetizers while managing to fill your plate with colorful veggies and some good protein like hummus and a small serving of cheese.
If you’re going the low-fat route for your weight loss plan, then you should still avoid the puff pastry. Also steer clear of heavy portions of rich foods that are thick with gravy, cheese, cream, and other high-calorie, high-fat ingredients.
You can still enjoy yourself while attending all of your holiday functions — just have a plan in mind before you go!
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