Create and Stick to a Plan
To help maintain healthy habits, identify potential problem areas and anticipate situations that may present challenges.
Allow yourself some slack and don’t aim for perfection.
Choose to focus on two areas at most, such as sticking to a firm workout schedule and avoiding the cheese tray if that is a weakness.
By recognizing and anticipating your primary weaknesses, you are more likely to stick with a plan, she says.
Maintain a Regular Schedule
While the holidays can be hectic, it is important to eat at normal mealtimes.
Don’t try to "make up" for bad eating by skimping at breakfast or lunch. This sets you up for poor energy, hunger and bad food choices at the next party. Once again, it helps to have a plan to maintain your resolve.
For example, if you are going to an evening festivity, eat a balanced, lighter lunch, such as a mixed green salad with grilled chicken and chopped apples. It is also helpful to try to eat a high-fiber snack, like a handful of colorful veggies, mid afternoon to avoid going to the party starving.
Before you heap any party food onto your plate, scan the offerings on the table. Consciously take one “virtual” trip through the buffet to see what is being served. This will help you make better choices. And savor both the food you eat and the conversations you have with other guests; eating more slowly will help you be more aware of when you are satisfied and feeling full.
Another strategy is to create a physical buffer zone that is a safe distance from the buffet. This prevents you from being within arm’s distance of those tempting dishes and discourages mindless munching.
When You're Hosting A Gathering
How can you offer your guests festive fare and healthy foods at a holiday dinner or party?
First, look for ways to reduce overall calories. The quickest and easiest way to do this is to limit the number of high-fat offerings. Some recipes just need butter, but you can cut the amount the recipe calls for. You can also reduce the amount of sugar called for in most holiday recipes.
Another strategy for health-conscious hosts is to buy or prepare portion-controlled treats. Offering individual desserts and appetizers makes it easy to have just a taste, not half the cake.
While every host wants to have enough food for all the guests, don’t go overboard with your menu offerings. I encourage clients not to cook too much food, and only to use fresh ingredients. Faced with mounds of extra food, guests may feel inclined to eat more, and if they don’t, you will be stuck with all those leftovers!
In addition to cooking less food, it’s a good idea to place higher-calorie items in smaller serving dishes. It encourages people to serve themselves less.
More about Chris Tina Bruce
Chris Tina Bruce is a male-to-female transgender bodybuilder, spokesperson and fitness talent.
She is the founder of Be Bold Be Proud, a grassroots non-profit transgender equality organization. She is also the founder of Discover Health and Fitness, a freelance writer and the proud parent of two amazing children. She obtained her bachelor of science degree from Georgia State University, and is also a National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer.
Chris Tina lives by some very simple rules and affirmations: All of life is a transition; where you are does not have to define who you will be and together we can cultivate change. Be Bold, Be Proud, Be Yourself.
For more information about Chris, her Fitness Fun Camps, private sessions, nutrition programs or next bodybuilding show, check out her website, follow her Hillcrest Fitness Facebook page, or call (972) 989-6076.