Fresh baked breads, cookie decorating and the cheddar popcorn tins…it’s that time of year again. With each year’s holiday season, people are surrounded by numerous calorie-dense food choices. According to The American Council on Exercise, the average adult consumes 3,000 calories at their holiday meal. And that’s one meal, let alone the whole day.
Build the Rainbow: When sitting down to a table full of food, be sure to add “color” to your plate. Foods that are rich in color are generally rich in nutrients. From reds to purples, antioxidants, fiber, vitamins and minerals fill these foods to provide high quality fuel. See how many colors your plate can represent.
Drink Up: Often times, hunger pains are more likely due to dehydration than true hunger. Be sure to drink at least 8oz of water, 30 minutes prior to mealtime to help prevent overeating. During the big meal, skip the sodas, sweet tea and lemonade. These are drinks that contain high volumes of sugar and add a lot of calories, but won’t help you to feel fuller. Stick with water, unsweetened tea, or low fat milk.
Pleasing Protein: Lean protein sources such as turkey, chicken, or fish can be a great way to please the palate. Protein sources take longer to digest, helping your stomach to have the feeling of fullness. By making ¼ of your plate skinless turkey breast, you will find yourself less tempted by the dessert table.
It is important to realize that food is fueling your performance, and how to keep a little slip from becoming a slide. Eat well to play well this holiday season.
This blog was originally published in 2013, but the tips still apply to Thanksgiving 2015 and beyond!