5 Tips for a Healthier Nochebuena

It’s that time of the year again – salsa blasting from the speakers, countless gifts under the tree, poinsettias in the dining room, a plethora of cousins you’ve never met before, the savory smell of homemade meals by mami and abuelita, and endless (endless!) amounts of food! Follow these 5 tips for a healthier Nochebuena and most importantly, enjoy time with your family and loved ones.

  • Keep it clean all week – Stick to your meal plan the week of Nochebuena. This means no cheat meals or sneaking in small pieces of sweets. Here’s another tip: take it day by day. Don’t think about your commitment for the entire week, rather focus on your commitment to keeping it clean each day.
  • Nochebuena workout – Make it a point to head to the gym first thing in the AM on Nochebuena. Since you’re going to indulge a bit, you want to create a calorie deficiency to make some room for the foods you’re about to enjoy. Burn more calories than you normally do with interval training and  don’t forget to eat your pre and post-workout meals, as usual.
  • Portion Control – Don’t deprive yourself of all the deliciousness on the Nochebuena menu, but do control your portions. Pre-plan before serving your plate. Instead of piling on foods as you make your way through the buffet, explore all the options in advance and carefully select the ones you love to ensure you control your quantities. Prioritize the veggies and limit the carbs, especially the “bad” ones.
  • Bitter Sweet – Cake, cupcakes, cookies, pies, chocolate. The sweet list is endless. Enjoy it, but stick to one slice, or 2-3 cookies. Remember, all sweets are packed with sugar and one slice easily surpasses our daily recommended intake of 25 grams.
  • Hydrate – The alcohol and wine display will match the display of food! Limit the amount of alcohol you consume as alcohol equals empty calories. If you can, stick to red wine and most importantly, stay hydrated! Drink two glasses of water for every glass of wine you have. Drinking water will also help keep you full and avoid over-indulging in food.

You shouldn’t miss out on your favorite Nochebuena foods just because mami adds some extra sazón to her menú. As with all things in life, great indulgence on Nochebuena is all about balance!