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How to Keep Your Nutrition Game Strong Over the Holidays

By: Carleen Paprocki, M.S., OTR/L, Coach, Reiki Master

Christmas is almost here! If you’re like me, it’s going to be a crazy busy week! With festivities, Christmas cookies, celebratory drinks, and more…this is THE week to plan ahead and strategize your nutrition game. How will you stay on track while still allowing yourself to enjoy some of the holiday deliciousness in moderation? Here are a couple quick tips. Share yours in the comments below!

Eat BEFORE You Go:

If you don’t do anything else, do this. Eat before you go to the holiday party. Sound crazy? Hear me out. Imagine all of the indulgent appetizers and rich desserts. Now, can you imagine how many calories and grams of carbs/fat you would consume? If the party involves a meal, you run the risk of exceeding your nutrition budget BEFORE you even get to the holiday meal! But, if you have a small and nutritious pre-meal before you go, you will be less likely to indulge in all of the calorie-dense offerings and more likely to make healthy choices. …this will also make room in your nutrition budget to enjoy that glass of wine or Christmas cookie, guilt free!

Plan Ahead For The Week:

To plan ahead for the busy week, I spent an hour on Sunday meal prepping so I have healthy options ready to go in the fridge. I made mini veggie frittatas as well as a batch of hardboiled eggs. I also scheduled a grocery pickup order for later today to stock up on some healthy meal options to make between the festivities. In my order is a rotisserie chicken, fresh spinach, frozen cauliflower rice, fixings to make a simple veggie soup, chicken breast, and fresh veggies. I also made sure to stock up on fresh fruit that’s easy to grab even on my busiest of days!

Keep Healthy Snacks With You:

Heading out for some last minute holiday shopping? Pack yourself some healthy snacks to fuel your body. Try to eat every 2-3 hours and pick snacks that offer some carbs and protein to balance your blood sugar thereby preventing the crash and preventing you from overeating once you get home (or stopping for fast food!). Some ideas: nuts (I have a major pistachio obsession) + apple, healthy nutrition bar (like RX bar), premade protein shake, string cheese + dried fruit, or make your own healthy trail mix to bring along (…go easy on the m&ms!).

Drink Water - Bring a bottle of water everywhere you go:

I know, I know. Everywhere you turn people are telling you to drink more water. So, are you listening? Your body is between 50-70% water, so it goes without saying that water is essential to our survival and overall health. Per an article by the Mayo Clinic, women need about 2.7 L per day and men need about 3.7 L. So, what does that convert to? For men, that’s about 6.25 entire 20 oz bottles of water. Whereas women need 4.5 entire 20oz bottles. How does that compare to what you’re drinking? Now, don’t forget, if you exercise or have any medical conditions, that may even further increase how much water you need to drink. But, don’t worry too much if you fall just a little bit short; many nutritious foods (that you’re hopefully eating!) also provide your body with some water. To stay on track, grab your favorite water bottle and bring it everywhere you go!

Pre Enter into MyFitnessPal:

Another tip that I learned from one of my ingenious clients is to pre enter your weekly meals into MyFitnessPal. That way you have your meal plan, calories, and macros already laid out and all you need to do is follow your plan! That’s also a great way to budget in that glass of wine or some Christmas cookies - think of it like balancing a checkbook…does anyone even do that anymore? But, you get what I mean ; )

Happy Holidays everyone!

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