The Hunger Games Guide to Holiday Nutrition for Dancers

Competition season is right around the corner and the Holidays are here.  Oh boy, what’s a dancer to do when those yummy goodies and treats are calling your name?  Here are 7 tips to keep those holiday treats from sabotaging your nutritional goals:

1.  Eat a healthy breakfast.

Sugary cereals and processed pastries are empty calories.  They cause your blood sugar to spike and then fall, leaving you hungry sooner than you should be.  Add more protein to the most important meal of the day.  Popsugar has 7 suggestions for making breakfast healthier.

Ways to Add More Protein and Fiber to Your Breakfast

2.    Be careful what you drink

Sodas, juice and sports drinks have more sugar than the recommended daily amount of 25 grams and that packs on unnecessary calories.  And you know caffeine drinks dehydrate you! Eliminate or minimize these where you can.  A healthier alternative is to add just a splash of juice to club soda or sparkling water.  Click through this slideshow to see how your favorite drink compares.

Sweet Comparisons:  How much sugar is in that drink?

Sweet Comparisons: How much sugar is in that drink?

3.  What can I bring?

If you are invited to any holiday gatherings, offer to bring a dish or treat that fits into your nutritional goals.  This way you will always have something that you will like munching on while everyone else is “pigging out.”

4.  Eat before you go.  

Before going to a holiday gathering, eat a healthy meal.  You will likely eat more unhealthy snacks or hors d’oeuvres if you are hungry when you arrive.  Be sure and keep that meal light to allow for nibbling at the buffet table.

5.  Allow small indulgences.  

It’s completely unrealistic to go through the holidays and not be tempted by all the sugarplums.  Avoiding them altogether may make you want them more.  Cooking Light recommends portion control and 7 other secrets for healthy indulging.

7 Secrets of Healthy Holiday Indulgences

7 Secrets of Healthy Holiday Indulgences

6.  Stay active.

When you are bored, you have a tendency to want to snack because it is something to do.  By staying active, your body will forget about the holiday cookies and candies lying around because it would rather be busy.  Now go practice that combination again and forget about the fudge that is staring at you.

7.  Keep track.  

Record your activity and what you eat in your Dance Diary. There are also apps like Fitbit or myfitnesspal where you can keep track of calories burned and consumed. Knowing what you eat will help you manage your goals.  If you overindulge one day, you can cut back the next or spend a little more time practicing in the studio to burn off the calories you consumed.

Do you have a favorite recipe or nutrition tip?   Please share it on our Facebook and Twitter pages and check them often for more dance and nutrition tips.

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