Choose Your Carb Wisely this Holiday Season
The holiday season is filled with opportunities to overindulge. Whether it’s family get-togethers, work parties, or friends meeting for drinks, you’ll face a lot of temptation.
You don’t want to spend the next few months throwing your good eating habits completely off course, but you can still enjoy holiday food without overindulging.
Choose the right carbs
Although carbohydrates generally have a bad dietary reputation, healthy carbs provide energy as well as many essential nutrients. Simple carbs contain 4 calories per gram, as do complex carbs. But complex carbs have more filling fiber, vitamins, and minerals, which helps you feel fuller longer while improving your weight management.
Try these healthy carbs in your holiday dishes:
- Winter squash – A cup contains 6 grams of filling fiber.
- Quinoa – This grain is a complete protein that contains all 9 of the body’s essential amino acids. It’s also a good source of fiber, antioxidants, and iron.
- Legumes – This category includes beans, peas, lentils, and peanuts. They have lots of protein, fiber, iron, folate, and potassium.
Limit the high-calorie foods on your plate
Whether it’s Thanksgiving dinner or a holiday office party load up on healthier, lower-calorie choices like green salads, raw vegetables, and lean proteins while still indulging on smaller portions of higher-calorie items.
Don’t arrive on an empty stomach
Don’t skip meals in advance of a holiday celebration in an attempt to save calories. You’ll arrive starved, and as you face tempting foods, it will be more difficult to resist. Instead, eat a bowl of healthy cereal, some nuts, fresh fruit, or vegetables beforehand so you won’t arrive primed to overeat.
Leave the table when you’re done
Instead of lingering at the table and continuing to graze on food, get up and move around when you’re finished eating. Offer to help with the dishes, take a walk, or plan a group outing to help everyone get out and about rather than continue to sit and eat.
Set goals now
Don’t wait until New Year’s to make a resolution. Instead, find some goals to set during fall and winter to help you keep on track. Sign up for a winter 5k, take a ski trip, or start a new fitness class to help keep you motivated and active.