And just like that, the seasons have changed and it’s fall! This means that before we know it, we’re going to be wrapped up in all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, including the indulgent feasts and special holiday treats that everyone loves!
Although families and friends all have their own unique ways of celebrating the holidays, most American’s have something in common – indulgent eating. Americans often prepare huge feasts of delicious delicacies to celebrate Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanza, New Years and more. While most of our mouths are watering just imaging the delicious smells that will fill our homes in the weeks to come, holiday eating can put a huge damper on fitness goals.
Our nutrition and fitness experts have compiled their best tips and tricks to help you look and feel your best after your holiday binge eating. Due to the high fat content of many traditional holiday dishes, weight loss over the holidays is often difficult. A goal to strive for is to maintain your current weight after the holidays. In order to do so, the ARC’s nutrition expert, Lisa Kass suggests:
• Saving your daily intake of calories for a treat or meal that is worth it – don’t mindlessly snack!
• Allow yourself the luxury of eating whatever you want on the holiday, but don’t extend it! An easy way to avoid extending your indulgence is to give away leftovers to guests or freeze them.
• Don’t starve yourself before a meal – this will lead to overeating later on. Be sure to have a healthy breakfast and lunch before a big meal!
• Use smaller plates and chew more to savor the flavors – these easy changes will assist you with portion control.
• Go on a walk with your family or friends after your meal but before you eat dessert to burn some calories while enjoying the season with those closest to you!
• Look for non-food ways to celebrate with your family – the holidays don’t have to mean constant feasting. We suggest hiking and bowling.
• Make sure to include lots of healthy in-season fruits, salads and vegetables in your daily meal planning
You can easily lighten up your holiday meals by eating more healthy fruit and vegetable dishes and less holiday sweets. Green beans are in season during the fall, and although a Green Bean Casserole is an American classic, try a healthier version of these crunchy veggies – such as toasted green beans with blue cheese and walnuts! Persimmons are considered to be a winter super-food, they can be eaten whole and make a good portable fruit snack similar to apples. Persimmons can be used in many different holiday dishes to spice up your breads, muffins and cakes, or can be used as a healthy alternative to butter when whipped into a jam!
If a big meal is an important part of the holidays to you, don’t worry! Indulging every once in a while won’t harm your health. The ARC is open all holiday season except Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. The best bet for this busy time is to treat yourself to a great workout.