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5 Tips For Eating Healthy During The Holidays

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Let’s be honest, healthy eating during the holiday season is not easy for any of us. Holidays are the best time of the year – a good family time, delicious food, and lots of gifts.

But you need to follow a healthy lifestyle at all times. Although it may sound boring, it is going to help you spend more holidays together with friends and family.

Here are some tips you can follow for a healthy, happy holiday season.

5 Tips For Healthy Eating During The Holidays

1. Skip Carbs, Not Meals

Do Not Skip Meals

Many of us think that we can eat more if we’d skip breakfast or lunch and leave room for the good dinner party. This is an unhealthy eating habit. Skipping meals will cause you to overeat and all the pounds you lost might just find its way back.

Before a dinner gathering, consider having something healthy on your plate. Grab a bowl of cereal, vegetable sticks, or fruit salad before you leave. This way, you will not overeat and you’ll have a good time at the party.

2. Eat Small And Slow

Eat Small Portions Of Food

Buffets are the trends during the holiday season. However, help yourself with small portions of food on your plate, just enough and not too much. Consider adding high-fiber foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to your plate. These fiber-rich foods are low in calories and can satisfy hunger. If you crave for high-calorie foods, go ahead and help yourself with a small serving.

It is important to take small bites and chew slowly while you’re eating. Take your time to enjoy the taste of every meal. Not only does it treat your taste buds, slow eating can also help you to feel full faster. Science tells us that eating slowly means that you chew the food slowly and this tricks the brain to think that you are more full.1

3. Ditch The Alcohol

Say No To Alcohol

Alcohol beverages like eggnog contain lots of calories and very little nutrients. This can contribute to unwanted weight gain. So, consider rethinking about what you want to drink after your meal. Try to quench your thirst with some fruit juice or some other alternative options like drinking water with lemon or lime slices and seltzer water with a splash of 100 percent fruit juice.2

If you really cannot stop yourself from drinking alcohol, don’t go overboard with it. As simple as it may sound, it might if you aren’t sitting too close to the drinks!

4. Help The Party Host

Offer To Cook A Healthy Dish For A Dinner Party

If you are not the host of the party, you don’t really have a control of the menu. But, what you can do is cook a healthy dish and offer to help the party host with it.

If protein is your expert ingredient, make sure that it is lean. Lean protein options include turkey, roast beef, fresh ham, beans, and some types of fish like cod or flounder. You can even offer something as simple as a salad, but what counts is that it is still healthy.

5. Add Exercise To Your Fun List

Add Exercise To Your Holiday Fun List

You’ve got a lot on your plate during the holidays. Finding time for physical activity may seem impossible, but try to add exercise to your fun list this holiday. You don’t want to gain pounds and not do anything about it. Have fun walking and talking with your friends and family after a hearty meal.

Healthy Changes For A Healthy Holiday Menu

Try these healthy changes to holiday beverages and foods and make it a healthy holiday time.3

  • Eggnog – Change this holiday drink by filling your glass with half- to three-quarter parts of low-fat or skim milk and one part eggnog. You’ll still enjoy the drink without the calories.
  • Hot Chocolate – If you plan to make a cup of hot chocolate, consider products with labels “sugar-free” or “low fat.” Mix these with low-fat milk, skim milk, or hot water.
  • Cocktails And Alcoholic Beverages – Try to serve nonalcoholic beverages this holiday season. This will help you cut down on calories. Read the labels of alcohol-free beverages as they may contain more added sugar.
  • Sodium Content –  Breads and rolls, poultry, and canned soups are three common foods that can increase your sodium limit. Consider adding herbs and spices like rosemary and cloves to bring out the flavor in your dishes.
  • Dressings – Dressings are meant to complement your food. To cut down on calories and fat, make sure dressings are used for flavor. Dressings with lots of vegetables, fruits, lean meat, and nuts are healthy options.
  • Desserts – There is no fun in a fat-free dessert. So, the trick is to serve yourself a small portion of your favorite desserts.

References   [ + ]

1. Benefits of Eating Slowly. Health Guidance.
2. 10 Tips: Make Healthier Holiday Choices. United States Department Of Agriculture.
3. Holiday Healthy Eating Guide. American Heart Association.