If you’re the one who does the cooking during the holidays, you have more control over the ingredients and how meals are cooked. But what if others do the cooking? If you can, you should do most of the cooking during the holidays. However, if there is absolutely no way you can avoid foods prepared by someone else, here are a few tips for clean eating during the holidays.

1.  Start with a Healthy Breakfast- Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. If you start your day with a clean breakfast, you’ll likely eat less throughout the rest of the day compared to if you skip. Try a bowl of oatmeal topped with fresh blueberries and slivered almonds or make a fruit smoothie with a tablespoon of wheat germ.

My favorite breakfast is 1/2 cup oatmeal, 3/4 cup almond milk, 1/2 apple grated, pinch of cinnamon, 1/2 scoop protein powder, 1 tbsp wheat germ and flaxseed! 

2. Stay on Track with Frequent Meals-Just because it’s a time for celebration doesn’t mean it’s time to throw all you’ve learned out the window. If you’re eating clean now, that means you’re eating every three to four hours anyway. Eating frequent meals will help you to keep from overeating when you sit down to enjoy holiday meals.

3.  Fill Your Plate with Veggies- Sure, veggies are considered side dishes, but there’s no rule that says you can’t fill the majority of your plate with vegetables. Vegetables are packed with fiber, which helps keep you feeling full, so you can fill up on fewer calories and have less room for diet-blowing desserts. Fill three-quarters of your plate with veggies and the other quarter with a lean protein.
4.  Eat Slowly-Your body tells you when it’s time to stop eating. Eat slowly and give yourself time to hear those cues. Don’t wait until your full to stop eating. Put your fork down when you no longer feel hungry.

5.  Indulge…
But just a little. There’s no hard and fast rule with clean eating that says you can’t have “just one bite.” If you really, really won’t feel satisfied until you have a bite of that pumpkin cheesecake, then have a bite.

6.  Cut Yourself Some Slack- So what happens if you can’t resist and eat with reckless abandon during the holidays? Don’t be too hard on yourself. Not partaking in all the delicious holiday foods is often difficult and takes pre-planning and a lot of motivation to avoid. If you get off track, get right back on after the holidays are over.

7.  Pre-Eating-  If I know that I am going to a party that there will not be any healthy choices here is what I do.  I eat before I go!  I drink my Shakeology or have a well balanced meal.  Then, when I get to the event I grab a big glass of water and I socialize!  I make parties about talking to other people and not about the food.  When you do that, you tend to forget about the food and people don’t even notice!  I went to a birthday party on Sunday and there was nothing that was even remotely healthy.  So I drank my shake before going, when I got there I got my kids food and sat at the table and fed them.  No one even asked a question because I was busy with the kids.  When they were done I cleaned them up and went and talked to someone else.  When it was time for cake I helped serve the cake and clean up afterwards so there was no time to sit down and eat cake!  I just kept busy talking to other people!  Yes, I could have enjoyed myself and ate the fried chicken and macaroni and cheese but I had already gone out the night before and had a few glasses of wine and dessert so I wasn’t going to allow myself to do it 2 days in a row!  You have to prioritize!

8.  Going away for the holidays- So a lot of you probably travel to visit family during the holidays and don’t have any control over what is being fed to you!  Here are some easy tips to keep on track.  When I travel I always pack a cooler!  I pre-portion out my oatmeal and throw in some dried cranberries or raisins and take it with me.  Oatmeal is easy to throw in a bowl with water and microwave!  I also pack easy snacks to take along with me.  I packed a bag of baby carrots and pre portioned out some nuts and hummus.  I threw a couple cheese sticks into my cooler and some fruit.  Voila, you have healthy snacks to keep you from stopping at the rest stops and drive thrus.  Then, when you are faced with a meal that your family cooks that is not easy on the waistline, you just mind your portion sizes and load up on veggies.  But at least you won’t be starving and eat everything in sight because you came with a well thought out plan and have been on track the rest of the day! 

Good luck and please share what you are planning to do to stay focused this holiday season!

How do you plan to stick to clean eating this holiday season, especially if you’re not doing the prep work? We’d love to hear your tips and tricks, so leave a comment below!

Portions of this post were taken from Cleaneatingclub.com

Katy Ursta