Eat, drink, and be merry— but not too merry. When it comes to food, celebrate—but with control. Taking these few simple steps will help make sure that your nutrition doesn’t suffer.
The average person can consume up to 4,500 calories during holiday celebrations, and it’s easy to see how that can be when everyone’s bringing over store-bought desserts instead of dishes with protein and good carbohydrates and fats. Still, we’re not here to lecture you and tell you that you need to stay away from the sweet potatoes with marshmallows or pecan pies—after all, that’s part of what’s the holidays are all about.
You can have fun and be jolly without looking like Kris Kringle himself.
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Steer Clear of Processed Carbohydrates
Foods containing enriched flour (pasta, breads, cakes, cookies, crackers, etc.) and processed sugar are the big culprits here, and remember, almost everything in a package contains sugar and/or sodium as a preservative. Also, homemade baked goods can be packed with saturated fats and sugars, so sample if you must, but know when to say “no”!
See Also: 7 Protein-Packed and Carb-Rich Foods
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Go Ahead and Snack
Keep plenty of easy, healthy snacks at hand; almonds, apples, low-fat string cheese, whole-grain crackers, or a quality protein powder are easy to pack and should be kept stocked in strategic places such as your car, briefcase, gym bag, diaper bag, etc. Having good snacks readily available to nosh on every few hours will help keep you from reaching for holiday goodies that haunt your every step.
See Also: The Best Snacks for Bodybuilders
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Have a Treat
Sugar-free popsicles, sugar-free jell-o, sugar-free hot chocolate, diet sodas, tea sweetened with Splenda, and Crystal Lite are all good for curbing a sweet tooth, but remember, too much artificial sweetener is not conducive to good health, so practice moderation. Another alternative is extra-dark chocolate, but don’t get carried away—a square or two is plenty.
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Hydration = Energy
Hydration will not only keep your system flushed, but will also keep your energy levels on high. Drink at least eight 8-oz glasses of water a day, and avoid rich, sugary drinks like eggnog, cider, frothy seasonal coffee drinks, and, of course, alcohol.