Oh, we all love the Holiday season. A time for celebration, family gatherings, and of course, delicious food. As a matter of fact, food plays a huge role in our traditions, with a delightful Turkey for Thanksgiving or our favorite cookies to cook for Santa for Christmas. It’s a time of pure amusement, but it can also be a time when our healthy eating habits go out the window. We can get carried away easily, overeat, or indulge in a few not-too-healthy options. That is totally fine! You deserve to enjoy that cup of wine with your mom that you haven’t seen in a while.
But then January comes, and we notice we’ve gained some extra weight. Some of us do get a little worried, but the good news is that we don’t have to go crazy on a new diet nor make a 180-degree turn with drastic changes to our lives to go back to a healthy weight. With a few simple after-holiday hacks to eat delicious and healthy, the new year will be like a long holiday. And the best part is you can enjoy those Christmas leftovers if you still have some!
Eating healthy doesn’t have to be a chore. With a few simple hacks, you can turn healthy eating into a sustainable and enjoyable part of your everyday routine. Here are five tips to help you make sure you’re eating delicious and healthy all year long:
One of the best ways to get back on track after the holidays and ensure that you eat delicious and nutritious meals throughout the new year is to plan your meals in advance. If you want to use your leftovers, check out your fridge to see what you have and list the foods you need to shop for. Planning your meals and snacks helps you avoid the temptation to order takeout or grab processed snacks when you’re in a hurry—it even allows you to make better choices because you’ll be cognisant about the ingredients you have to use. Make sure to have your favorite recipes on hand, or look for new ones to try!
Watch your portion sizes
It’s easy to get carried away with holiday eating, but that doesn’t mean you have to continue eating the same way. Remember that moderation is key as you take control of your diet. Use smaller plates and bowls to help control your portion sizes, and be mindful of how much you eat. We often think that we need to fill up our plate, even if it’s a big one, but it actually depends more on your size and weight than the size of the plate! Variety is better than quantity, so make sure to add different foods to your plate instead of filling it up.
Get creative with your veggies
Vegetables are a must! Eating a variety of vegetables is a great way to it is a great way to ensure that you’re getting all the vitamins and nutrients you need. You can go crazy on ideas and recipes on how to cook them. What matters is that you include them in all your meals and that they make up for the biggest portion of your plate. And if your plate looks colorful—because you include different types of veggies and some carbs and proteins—then you know you’re doing it right!
Make healthy substitutions
Believe it or not, you don’t have to quit on high-calorie food and drinks, but you can try to mix things up a little. There are many alternatives that you can use to make them more nutritious. For example, use whole wheat flour instead of white flour in your baking, make cauliflower rice instead of regular rice, or swap out heavy cream for Greek yogurt in your mashed potatoes. Even small changes can make a big difference in the nutritional content of your food, and in most cases, these substitutions can be made without compromising the flavor or enjoyment of the meal.
Keeping an active lifestyle is essential all year round, even during the holidays, but it is normal to loosen up a bit and exercise less. The important thing is that when things get back to normal, and you get back to your regular routine, you also build in some time to exercise. Actually, it is well known that just a few hours of exercise reduce multiple hours of doctor visits. So, try to get in some form of physical activity every day, whether it’s a brisk walk, yoga, or hitting the gym. Even a short workout can help burn off some of those extra holiday calories and boost your energy levels. Plus, exercising releases endorphins, which can improve your mood and help you better deal with everyday life stressors.
BONUS: Treat yourself
Finally, it’s important to remember that eating healthy doesn’t mean you can never treat yourself. In fact, allowing yourself to indulge in your favorite foods can help you stay on track with your healthy eating goals. So, don’t be afraid to treat yourself to a sweet or savory treat every now and then. Just make sure you’re still getting all the essential nutrients your body needs to stay healthy, and most importantly, be sure to enjoy it.
And now you see? Eating delicious and healthy meals throughout the new year is possible with some planning and creativity. With these tips, you can easily go back to your usual routine and enjoy your favorite foods without compromising your health. Remember to plan ahead, watch your portion sizes, include vegetables in your meals, make healthy substitutions, stay active, and of course, pamper yourself with what you love the most. So, give these hacks a try and see how they can help you to achieve your healthy eating goals in the new year!