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The holiday season can be hard on those of us opting for a clean diet. Calories abound during the holidays, but not all calories are equal.
Low quality calories can leave you feeling frazzled, hungry and emotional. High-quality calories help you burn energy evenly, and keep you from being hungry.
Here are some tips to avoiding holiday temptations and staying healthy this holiday season.
Don’t go anywhere hungry
If you have an event to go to and you know there will be food served that’s probably not the healthiest, make sure to eat a high-protein snack before you go, such as chicken breast or hard boiled eggs. The protein will keep you feeling full longer so you won’t be quite as tempted to overindulge in low-quality calories.
Eat your veggies first
Always make the largest portion of your plate vegetables, the next priority is protein and if you must, have a few bites of carbs. High-carbohydrate foods are empty calories, spike your insulin levels and set you up to crave more carbs. It’s a vicious cycle that’s best avoided if possible.
Bring something healthy
Bringing a healthy side dish of vegetables or protein ensures that there will be at least one healthy choice for you.
Fill up on berries
Berries, particularly raspberries, can blunt the insulin response from high-carbohydrate foods and may even help you feel less hungry. Make berries part of your daily diet during the holiday season and use them as treats or desserts.
Try some fermented foods
Fermented foods, such as kefir, kombucha or sauerkraut help improve digestion and reduce inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract, which can help you avoid an upset stomach from holiday indulgences.
High quality indulgences
When you do choose to indulge, try to stick with whatever is made from the highest quality ingredients -pick the lesser of the evils. Homemade desserts will always win over processed, packaged ones, and dark chocolate should always win over candy.