All the parties and dinners during the holiday season is tons of fun. But nothing is worse than eating too many appetizers and wanting to pass out on the couch right after.
Since so many holiday foods are often loaded with sugar and carbs, they leave us feeling sluggish not long after eating them — despite how delicious they are.
Luckily, you can still enjoy some good food without feeling like you need to nap the rest of the year away. Here are five tips on how to avoid a food coma this holiday season.
Eat a Pre-Party Snack
Show up to the party starving, and you’ll likely want to eat a lot. And stuffing your face with all the food will only have you wanting to head straight to your bed. However, eating a small snack before your party or dinner can help prevent this. “Look for Greek yogurt, cheese, meats, or peanut butter to munch on before meals to prevent yourself from reaching for more than you bargained for at the table,” says Abby Sauer, RD, MPH, a nutritionist at Abbott.
Watch Your Portions
“When selecting items for your plate, keep in mind that holiday meals should be just as balanced as the meals you eat every other day,” says Sauer. “Stick with foods that will maximize strength and energy, in particular, protein rich options. For richer dishes, eat smaller portions and resist the urge to go back for seconds.”
Drink a Lot of Water
“To prevent dehydration and the exhaustion that comes with it, alternate ‘fun’ drinks with a glass of water at dinner,” says Sauer. Lots of water can keep your energy levels up, as even just mild dehydration can cause fatigue.
Look for Fiber
When picking your holiday treat, look for foods high in fiber, which can give you longer, more steady energy. “Although it’s not the most glamorous nutrient, fiber helps fill you up and prevents you from overeating,” says Sauer. “Dishes that include beans, legumes, and whole grains tend to be high in fiber and will provide you with energy-efficient nutrients, not empty calories.”
“While there might be more appealing activities on Christmas morning, climbing out of bed an extra 30 minutes early for some moderate exercise, such as walking at a brisk pace or biking, could help boost your energy levels during dinner,” says Sauer. “The best part? You’ll be in a house full of family members, so grab a workout buddy to stay on track.”
xx, The FabFitFun Team