From a lavish Thanksgiving dinner to a limitless supply of desserts, chocolates and candies, the holiday season can be a tough time for athletes who want to stay in shape throughout the year. You might have to go out of your way to eat right during the holidays. They can deal with food cravings by developing good daily eating habits for being healthy, happy and productive.
Athletes who need to prepare for big races after the holiday season can keep tabs on their eating patterns during holidays by sticking to some form of yoga, a hobby, meditation and a moderate training workout. Physical activities that also bring mental stimulation such as swimming, biking, hiking and running can also help athletes to prevent from giving in to guilty pleasures.
People should not give up clean eating practices simply because it’s the holiday season. In fact, several variations of the special-occasion treats can be transformed into healthier food options by substituting whole grains for processed ones, consuming low-fat dairy products, and restricting sugar intake. Just be careful not to over-indulge.
Based on the recommendations and opinions by renowned nutritionists, here are some important ways to eat right during the holidays:
Eat Low to High Calories
This means starting your meal with a broth-based soup or a crunchy salad. Move on to the main course with some lean protein. By the time you want to splurge on a brownie, you will be less hungry and more satisfied. You can make your own dressings, sauces and dips for a quick healthy snack. Homemade hummus, salads and soups are the best way to replace unhealthy eating options with nutritional ones and be able to eat right during the holidays.
Alkalize Your Diet
Holiday foods are rich in meat, sugar and alcohol. All these are acid formers and must be balanced with alkaline formers, such as organic greens and lemons. The alkalinity theory needs to be further investigated due to experts pointing out that excess alkalized foods can also upset the body’s pH balance. However, it does make sense to strike a balance between rich and green foods.
Gather To Socialize, Not Eat
The holiday season is all about family gatherings. Some athletes prefer to ‘pre-eat’ something healthy at home before going to a lavish dinner party. This not only gives them time to socialize with people they haven’t met for a long time but also limits their food intake as they are less tempted to eat more.
Keep Something Healthy At Hand
Shopping, travelling and running errands during the holidays can lead to impulsive food choices. This holiday season, make sure you prepare and freeze the right kinds of foods that come in handy during the busier days of the season. Get yourself a menu planner and stick to it by preparing veggie meals, protein snacks and soups that can be easily frozen. This way, you will never have an excuse about not being able to eat right during the holidays.
Weigh Yourself Every Day
What can be more motivating than weighing yourself every day? You will be less likely to cheat if you keep on assuring yourself that all the hard work and clean eating is doing you good. Stick to this practice until the holiday season lasts.
Eat in Smaller Plates
Experts believe small utensils easily give off a ‘piled-up’ plate impression. This tricks our brain into being happy with even smaller quantities of food. Use small cups, plates and bowls when treating yourself to a rich meal or dessert at a dinner.
Keep Trying on Your Slim-Fit Jeans
Even if you are travelling, take those skinny slim-fitted jeans along with you. Zip yourself into it often enough to know whether you have increased in inches. Has it become too tight? It’s time for you to get back into training mode.
Athletes relish the summers and dread the cold days. It is true that summer comes with a fresh variety of vegetables and fruits. However, winter has its own treasures. Feast on seasonal fruits, such as red grapefruit, pomegranates and mandarin oranges. These are packed with essential nutrients and rich flavors to satiate your taste buds. Walnuts, chestnuts and pistachios can also be consumed, when mixed together or separately. A handful of nuts are just what you need before hitting a dinner party. The healthy fats and fiber content in these gifts of nature will help you to control your cravings.
Surprisingly, several of our conventional holiday dishes do not have to be unhealthy. Roasted vegetables, lean turkey, a little wine and nuts can make up a filling meal. Avoid using gravy, sauces, butter and cheesy toppings that add more calories but less energy to your foods.
The biggest mistake people make during the holidays is treating Thanksgiving as a four-day feast. Take it as a one-night indulgence and spend the rest of the holiday parties by sticking to your daily normal routine. This will keep you in great shape for winning a big race and you will be able to eat right during the holidays.
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