If you are like me, the holidays can be a challenging time to stay committed to eating healthy. To help you stay true to healthy eating and have fun, here are three strategies that help me enjoy the holiday with family and friends without increasing my waistline.
First, here’s my strategy for eating out at a restaurant. It’s pretty simple and easy. Instead of ordering off the menu, I simply order a piece of fish, chicken or lean meat with a double order of fresh vegetables. For portions, the protein should be no bigger than the palm of your hand and the vegetable portions can be three times the amount of protein. Steamed vegetables with no sauces is the healthiest option. When ordering a salad, ask for the dressing on side and also let them know you’d prefer no bread for the table if this will tempt you. For dessert, order fresh fruit or finish off your meal with a cup of herbal tea.
Another idea you might want to consider is bringing half your meal home. The average portion at most American restaurants is four to five times the size of normal portions and at holidays, even more. Asking your server to bring half of your order and getting a doggie for the rest is a great way to prevent overeating.
My second strategy is for dining at a friend or relative’s home. It’s a good idea to ask in advance what the menu is and inform your host of your dietary restrictions, if you have any. This way you don’t have to hurt anyone’s feelings and you can make sure that there is food that fits your needs. You might also offer to bring a dish that is your favorite and a healthier option.
If you are attending a party and you know there will be foods you can’t eat, eat before leaving home. Drinking water also helps to curve your appetite so you won’t be tempted to indulge on the rich treats that are so plentiful at holiday parties. If you just can’t help yourself, share a dessert or take a small bite or two to indulge a little.
My last strategy is a general one. I recommend keeping a stash of healthy snacks and water handy for those times when you don’t have time to plan ahead. This way you will not be starving when you arrive and end up overeating or indulging in high calorie foods.
Dr. Steven Trauben is the founder of King Street Chiropractic Wellness Center, a pain relief and wellness center located in Alexandria, Virginia. He has been practicing just outside Washington DC for over twenty years now. The nationally known and well sought-out 8 Weeks to Wellness® program allows you to experience optimal wellness through chiropractic care, exercise, massage, nutrition & meditation. If you’re interested in speaking with Dr. Trauben, you can call (703) 578-1900 to schedule an appointment or you can go online www.kingstreetwellness.com.