It’s the time of year when salt, sugar, and fat are in abundance – at all the parties and family gatherings.
Now for those of you who have been with CleanFoodCrush for a while, you know my philosophy is not about perfection!
You can totally enjoy yourself and indulge in something here and there. But if you make that your baseline for the holidays rather than reaching your weight loss goals – you might just find yourself packing on extra pounds.
Here are 10 ways to practice Clean Eating for the holidays and LOVE every minute of it.
1. Eat protein before going to a holiday party
Of course, you want to enjoy all of the delicious treats at the party, and you should enjoy! But go hungry and you’re at high risk for over-eating and feeling sick, bloated, and disappointed in yourself the next day. I like to eat a bit of protein before heading to a gathering where I know there will be a lot of sugar around. Preparing hard-boiled eggs and having them in the fridge for whenever I’m about to head out makes a big difference!
2. Limit your liquid calorie intake
Alcohol and sodas contain a lot of calories, and before you know it, you’ve consumed more than your daily intake just in a few drinks. If you’re going to drink at the party and you’re serious about your weight loss goals, stick to cleaner options like vodka and club soda with a squeeze of lime (not tonic water which contains sugar) or 1-2 glasses of wine per week. Of course, the calories aren’t limited to spirits and sodas, your Starbucks latte is often also loaded with way to much sugar. Save time and keep it clean with this healthier frappe!
3. Don’t go to the grocery store hungry
We’ve all been there. Starving at the grocery store and somehow you come home with way too many snacks and not a whole lot of real, whole foods. I used to LOVE baking, and boy were my ideas for cookies and muffins ever on fire when I was hungry at the store. So now, I always eat before doing my shopping and I come prepared with a meal plan for the week, and a list of foods I’m there to buy. We teach this stuff and provide clear outlines in our 30 Day Clean Eating Challenge too if you feel like this is an area you need more support.
4. Prioritize fiber intake
Fiber will help keep cravings at bay while keeping your digestive system healthy and your gut balanced. Dark leafy greens, veggies like squash, potatoes, carrots, beets, and oats or rice are all sources of fiber. The goal with Clean Eating is to crowd out the sugar and processed foods with real, whole foods that taste so good, you’ll never look back.
5. Bring healthy options with you
It’s not always easy to talk to your family about Clean Eating, but one of the best ways? Don’t talk, EAT! Bring the BEST snacks or dishes with you and let everyone decide for themselves. You don’t even have to give a talk first about how ‘healthy’ the recipe is. Here are a few crowd-pleasers you could bring to the table:
6. Focus on connection with friends and family
Bring your heart to the table and focus on connecting with the ones you love this holiday season. There are so many other pleasures to delight in other than food – like quality time, gifts, experiences, stories, looking at photos, setting goals and intentions together and playing games! Remember to keep your mindset positive and focused on what the true purpose of this season is – connection.
7. Keep your body moving
Move daily and get your blood pumping. This alone will help keep you on track because when we incorporate movement into our daily practice, we naturally crave healthier, fresher foods. Have you ever noticed how much more appealing a salad is after a good sweaty workout? That’s it! It works.
8. Bring healthy snacks to the break room
Avoiding the break room and your colleagues all together isn’t exactly the best plan. You gotta eat, and it’s important to connect from time to time with the people you work with! Why not introduce them to some of your new favorite Clean Eating treats? I can’t tell you how many of our challengers were introduced to the program by a co-worker.
Here are a few fun recipes you could bring:
Roasted Veggie + Quinoa Meal Prep Bowls (these can all be tossed together like a salad and kept in the fridge for break time!)
9. Take 10 minutes before going back for seconds
After you finish your plate, give a ten-minute window for your system to signal that you’re full before going back for seconds. If you go back right away before giving your tummy a few minutes, you may find that afterward, you feel like you overate and even become bloated.
10. Focus on what you CAN eat, not what you can’t
Clean Eating isn’t about deprivation, and the truth is there is SO MUCH you can eat. We’re cleaning up the sugar, processed foods, and oils from our diets but we’re adding in so many delightful ingredients – grass-fed meats, fish, healthy fats like coconut oil and avocado, and fresh fruits and veggies. Focus on what you love and enjoy rather than spending time wishing you could eat the bag of chips or whatever it is you crave when you’re hungry. And remember, it takes time but you WILL rewire your cravings once you detox from sugar.