How to Make Your Holidays Healthy
The holidays are a truly special time, but they can also pose a challenge for many of us as we are presented with delicious foods and desserts that only come around once a year.
As you enjoy your holiday season with family, friends, and festivities, remember that it’s never too late to remain focused on your long-term health goals.
During this time, we encourage our patients to enjoy their favorite dishes, and to do so with a healthy approach! Sticking to your plan does not mean you have to choose “either” “or” among holiday foods. Instead, keep in mind that healthy eating is about balance.
At Kim Bariatric Institute, we know you’ve come a long way following your weight loss surgery. To make sure the holiday season does not erase all of your hard work and progress, we’re offering some suggestions so you can feel great about yourself during and after the holidays.
Tip #1: Take Small Bites. Studies have shown that your first bite of food is actually the most pleasurable. After that, the level of pleasure declines slightly with each bite. That’s why it’s important to take small bites, and to appreciate each one. In an approach known as “mindful eating,” the eating experience is meant to involve most of your senses. When you place a bite of food into your mouth, try noticing the texture, temperature, flavor, and aroma. Not only does this allow you to be in more control of your eating, but it helps you mindfully gauge your fullness level.
Tip #2: Save Room. Many holiday foods and desserts, such as cakes and cookies, are high in calories and lack nutrition. If you know you’re going to have a treat or two, plan to incorporate those higher calorie foods into your meal. This means limiting some of the foods from your regular diet so you can make room.
Tip #3: Snack Smart. When you’re hungry, portion control is more difficult to manage. If you’re attending a social event, eat a small healthy snack or meal beforehand. And, if you’re bringing a dish, it’s a good idea to bring one of your healthy favorites. Our recipe blog is filled with savory, yet nutritious options that will make for instant party favorites, such as “Grilled Chicken and Vegetable Kabobs with Yogurt Dressing.”
Overall, remember that it’s not uncommon to experience some level of stress during the holiday season. However, don’t let stress or your emotions trigger you to over-eat or indulge in high-calorie comfort foods. One of the traps in eating less-than healthy foods is that it can make you feel guiltier, causing you to eat even more. If you find yourself in a stressful situation seeking food, it’s important to acknowledge your feelings and think about why you are choosing that particular food. Take a moment to redirect your focus and address how you can better respond to those feelings.
As you make your way through the holidays, remember to keep in stride with the lifestyle changes you’ve committed to. Do not skip meals or fall behind on your physical fitness schedule. Maintaining your regular exercise regimen will not only help combat stress, but also help burn those extra calories you may consume.
If you would like more information on healthy eating, or to schedule a consultation with us, please contact Kim Bariatric Institute today.