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Enjoy guilt-free holiday eating in Georgia

OCT 12, 2017
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With holiday celebrations in full gear, even the healthiest eaters can be tempted to indulge. By the time the new year starts, gyms and diet programs are typically flooded with people who regret their holiday choices and want to get healthy again fast.

 

But this cycle doesn’t have to happen. You can avoid dampening your holiday fun with feelings of guilt. In fact, there are many ways to indulge without taking a toll on your health.

 

As you prepare for your holiday celebrations, try these tips. They’ll help you enjoy the season while staying on track with your health goals.

 

Take small bites for a big payoff

 

Enjoy your favorite treats of the season — whether it’s spiced eggnog, your mom’s mashed potatoes, or pumpkin spice … anything. But start with a few small bites. Taking smaller bites and chewing slowly can help you feel satisfied sooner, putting the emphasis on quality over quantity.

 

Remember that water is your friend

 

When quenching your thirst at a party, start with a non-alcoholic, unsweetened drink. Then if you’d like soda, juice, or a cocktail, alternate your “treat” beverages with water or club soda. For example:

 

  • Drink 1: Water with a lemon wedge
  • Drink 2: Your “treat” beverage
  • Drink 3: Another glass of water
  • Drink 4: Your “treat” beverage

Switch permanently to unsweetened, non-alcoholic drinks at least an hour before you plan to leave, especially if you’re drinking alcohol.

 

Alternating your drinks will help reduce your sugar and alcohol intake. You’ll enjoy the night more and feel much better in the morning!

 

Avoid pitfalls with smart snacking

 

Holiday parties and gift shopping mean hours away from home, so you’re sure to get hungry.  A nutrient-dense snack before leaving will help stave off that hunger and keep your blood sugar from crashing. Examples include a handful of nuts, an apple with a mozzarella stick, or a cup of high-protein Greek yogurt.

 

Treat yourself to a good conversation

 

Rather than seclude yourself by the refreshments, take the opportunity to walk around and mingle. A stimulating chat is a great way to shift your focus from tempting treats. And when those treats aren’t within easy reach, you’ll be forced to consider whether you really want them.

 

Divide and conquer

 

Divide your favorite cakes, casseroles, and other pan-treats into smaller pieces before serving them. This will help you and your loved ones indulge while keeping calorie counts lower. It’ll also help make sure there’s enough for everyone to enjoy!

 

Recover from “food hangovers”

 

If you overindulge, just treat your body right the next day by eating clean. This means avoiding refined carbohydrates (like bread and sweets), drinking a lot of water, and getting plenty of veggies with lean protein.

 

Learn more about healthy holiday eating.

 

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TOPICSGeorgiaguilt-free eatingHolidaysNutrition