Ever made a vow to be healthy during the holiday season, only to find yourself a few pounds heavier in the new year? Maybe you swore you'd only have two drinks a night, or that you'd stick to appetizer-sized plate at the holiday party. And yet somehow January rolled around and you were carrying 5 or 7 extra pounds.
How do you break this cycle once and for all? Here are some tips to get you through the holidays:
1. Eat a light yet highly nourishing meal at home before a party.
Prepare a salad with lots of green leafy veggies, cucumbers, red peppers, sprouts, and avocado and dress it with a tad of olive oil and lemon juice. This won’t be enough to fill you up, but it will curb your appetite without adding on too many calories.
2. Sip on ginger or cinnamon tea throughout your day.
Ginger is a great digestive herb that also keeps your body warm during the cold months. Cinnamon is also a warming herb, and it helps balance sugar levels and control cravings. Drink these teas throughout your day.
3. Consider fresh herbal teas (especially if you're prone to over-eating).
Adding fennel seeds, cumin, cardamom or coriander to boiling water and drinking it as tea will help you digest and get rid of the discomfort that comes from eating a large, difficult to digest meal.
4. Increase your intake of soups and liquid meals.
Green smoothies, non-dairy soups like slow-cooked lentil or butternut squash soups are excellent choices. Soups and smoothies are in essence, pre-digested meals that will keep you feeling full and hydrated until the big party later in the day. Consider also doing liquid meals on the days when there are no big dinner plans.
5. Practice conscious breathing.
Deep, conscious breathing will help trigger your parasympathetic nervous system, helping you achieve a relaxed state, lower stress level and put your body in “full digestion/assimilation” mode, where fat burning is optimal.