8 Tips For Eating Healthy During the Holidays

Monday, November 20 2017 3:19 PM

Large holiday meal on tableThe struggle is real. Eating healthy during the holidays almost requires a well thought out strategy so you don’t go over the deep end. We get it. Luckily, it’s possible to stay on track and enjoy your holidays, with a healthy diet by following a few simple steps during the holiday season.

1. Don’t Skip Meals

Resist the urge to “save up” your calories and skip meals in order to indulge in a big holiday feast later. This generally leads to overeating and making impulsive food choices. Instead, eat small, healthy meals several times throughout the day. This will help keep energy levels up, blood sugar stable, and keep you feeling full.

2. Stay Hydrated

With all the hustle and bustle around this time of year, it's easy to lose track of time and basic needs. Between all the shopping, family gatherings and party-going, make sure that you continue to drink plenty of water. Not only is this great for your hair and skin during the colder months, it also helps keep you energized and satiated. The best thing you can do for your body, especially during a stressful time, is to stay hydrated.

Pumpkin pie dessert3. Don’t Ditch Dessert

Treat yourself. A little won’t hurt! Don’t deprive yourself of dessert just because you’re trying to stay healthy. Instead, try making desserts that highlight fresh whole fruit, or modify recipes to include healthier ingredients. If you can’t say no to a delicious dessert offering, go for smaller portions instead of overindulging.

4. Watch the Alcohol Intake

If you drink, do so in moderation as alcoholic beverages can quickly pack on the calories. Before a gathering, plan ahead what and how much you want to drink. Alternate between alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, such as sparkling mineral water with a hint of lime, to help stay hydrated. If it’s hard to say no to unhealthy meals (and more drinks!) once you’ve started drinking, try to stick with non-alcoholic drinks instead.

5. Jazz Up Your Side Dishes

Do you decorate with a lot of colors during the holidays? Your meals should get the same treatment! Side dishes can add color, texture, and flavor to your meals as well as provide nutrition. Make your vegetable side dishes just as attractive as your main entrée by using fresh, seasonal produce. As a plus, they’ll help you feel fuller longer due to the nutrients provided.

6. Downsize Portions

Small plates are essential in the kitchen this time of year because they help keep portion size under control and calorie overload to a minimum. This is particularly important during the holidays as small plates are great for sharing and minimize temptation. Stick to healthy ingredients such as lean meats, veggies, and grains.

7. Divert Your Attention

When going to social gatherings, don’t focus on the food table across the room. The best way to achieve this goal is to eat before you go. Also, remember to enjoy the company around you more than the food seemingly calling your name. Interact with family and friends and get lost in the conversation. If you do eat a few things, eat slowly and put your plate down often to continue chatting. This will give you time to feel full.

Food journal8. Keep a Food Diary

A food diary, whether written or tracked via an app, is a log of what you consume each day. It can help keep your calories in check. The power of the food diary is that it keeps you accountable and makes you more aware of how much you’ve eaten. You are less likely to grab that piece of pumpkin pie if you know you have to write it down later and face the number you see. Be sure to carry your diary with you wherever you go so you can log your meals right away. This ensures that you won’t forget anything you may have eaten throughout the day.

Eat well and be merry this holiday season!

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