It’s my favorite time of the year; the holidays are upon us!
As a Christmas baby (December 18th, but close enough), I associate the holidays with endless parties. The upside is that I spend tons of time with family and friends and enjoy delicious food and drink. The downside is the inevitable guilt that I feel from the endless eating that accompanies the holiday season (yes, even Nutritionists feel guilt about food). And I know that I’m not alone.
For this reason, I’m devoting my Tip Tuesdays to avoiding holiday weight gain and maintaining good health during the holidays. Every Tuesday, I will share a tip on how to approach and make it through the holiday season while still feeling healthy and maintaining your weight. I hope that these tips become your “how-to stay healthy during the holidays” guide.
Tip 1: Eating Breakfast. I know you’re so sick of hearing me talk about breakfast and it’s many benefits. I’ve shared two oatmeal recipes with you (Apple Cinnamon and Traditional Oatmeal), and I’ve listed some of the benefits of breakfast. I want to talk briefly about this point:
- Eating breakfast prevents overeating later in the day.
Without even realizing it, most of us eat the same amount of calories each day. When we do so, our body stays at equilibrium and we stay at the same weight. Weight gain happens when we stray from that equilibrium by consuming more calories than usual, like during the holidays. Prevent overconsumption of calories by starting your day with food. This will keep you from feeling famished later in the day and overeating at a holiday get together.
Two reasons why people generally skip breakfast is lack of desire for breakfast/appetite or lack of time. Here are two practical tips to overcome these obstacles:
- Breakfast foods like cold cereal, oatmeal, or eggs may not be appealing to everyone first thing in the morning. If that’s the case for you, try eating a non-breakfast food, like leftovers from last night’s healthy dinner or a half sandwich. For example, half a turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread with lettuce and tomato contains lean protein, whole grains, and fruits and vegetables. This is nutritionally equal to eating whole grain oatmeal with milk and fruit.
- To save time in the morning, bring breakfast to work and eat it there. If you are starving at home in the morning, grab something small like a banana or apple until you can sit down for a proper breakfast.
- If it’s impossible for you to eat at work, eat something on your commute, like a yogurt, a KIND bar, or fruit and nuts. Just having something small—ANYTHING—in the morning will start your day off right and prevent you from eating multiple portions at a nighttime holiday party.
- Eat breakfast always, but especially on the days of holiday parties.
- Breakfast doesn’t have to mean breakfast foods. Try eating a sandwich on whole grain bread or leftover quinoa from the night before.
- If you are low on time, bring your breakfast to work or keep some oatmeal or a box of cereal (lower than 6g of sugar) at your desk at work.
- If you can’t eat at work, eat simple on-the-go items during n your commute, like yogurt, KIND bars, or fruit and nuts.
Stay tuned for next week’s Tip Tuesday: Holiday Edition on leaving room for dessert!