Your Life A to Z

Healthy Through the Holidays

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By Jordan Dafnis- Dancer, Broadcasting Major and Health Enthusiast

Healthy Through the Holidays
Tips and Tricks to get you through the holiday season without gaining the holiday pounds.

When you are trying to lose or maintain weight the holidays can seem like a scary time. But have no fear, I have successfully navigated through this season before and I want to share what I’ve learned with you. 

Let’s start with Thanksgiving.  Food & Family… but the food comes first, am I right? I know it’s not easy to say no to loaded mashed potatoes and delicious pumpkin pie, but it's not possible. 
Tip #1 – How to Handle Appetizers 
         
   Crackers, chips and cheese, OH MY!  Dinner hasn’t even started and you can easily rack up the calories by mindlessly snacking. You can avoid those empty calories by grabbing your favorite veggies and staying away from the dipping sauce and crackers…

Literally move yourself away from the table. Don’t hover around the food. Move your conversation to the living room or outside. The weather is beautiful right now so take advantage and gather with family and friends outdoors.
  Set your mind right. Don’t think about it as “I can’t eat this food!” Turn your focus to family, friends and quality time. That is what thanksgiving is about, being grateful for the people we have around us. Carry this mindset with you to every holiday party.
Tip # 2- How to Fill up your Dinner Plate
Don’t worry, I’m not going to tell you that you can’t have any of the good stuff, you just don’t need to have a lot of it. MODERATION IS KEY. 
Start your meal with protein and veggies. Make sure a majority of your plate is turkey or whatever protein you prefer and eat that first. The protein will fill you up and allow you to enjoy the perfect amount of stuffing and your other favorite foods. 
Slow and steady wins the race. Drink lots water and take your time eating so you can listen to your body and know when you are full. 
   It’s ok to grab a little bit of the heavy foods you really want. If your heart is set on the macaroni & cheese DON’T avoid it completely. If you don’t eat it at all you may feel very restricted and that can cause you to binge out later. Moderation is the word of the day. 
  Avoid the gravy and creams if possible or just use a minimal amount. Those heavy dressings and sauces are jam-packed with empty calories and fat you don’t need so if you can stay away, do it. 
Tip # 3- Bring your own dish and make it Healthy
     Bring at least one solid dish of vegetables or a dessert. By bringing a dish enables you to have a fall back in case no one else brings anything healthy. It doesn’t need to be a boring dish either www.skinnytaste.com has a ton of awesome lower calorie recipes that still taste amazing! Spins on the classics so no one will know it’s good for you. 
Tip # 4- Don’t let the Overeating Continue
    Don’t bring the stuffing and pie home. Give it away so that you aren’t continuing to feast throughout the weak. There will be plenty of holiday parties and events where you can snack and enjoy the food of the holiday season. If you limit the bad eating to those nights you will be just fine. It’s ok to enjoy yourself and eat some good food with friends and family. Save the festive eating for those times and you will make it through the holidays looking and feeling good. 

Everyday is a fresh start and a new chance to achieve your goals. If you eat horrible one day, move on and leave it in the past. Whatever your goals may be you can achieve them with the right mindset. I believe in you!

You can message me on Instagram & Twitter with any questions via @jdafnis or visit my website http://jordandafnis.weebly.com/

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