5 Healthy-Eating Tips for the Holiday

5 Healthy-Eating Tips for the Holiday

‘Tis the season for family, festivity, and endless options of food. Temptations are everywhere on the dinner table, with parties and travel disrupting daily routines to stay healthy. It’s so easy to pile on the extra calories in the winter season. By eating just 200 calories more a day (butter cookies or a piece of pecan pie), you could easily pack on two to three pounds over the five week period. How do you prevent splurging during the holiday season?

Here are some healthy-eating tips that can help.

1) Do not skip meals  

Many of us choose to skip meals as a popular strategy for holiday eating. But skipping breakfast and lunch to reserve space for all your calories for dinner at once can easily lead to overeating. Instead, have a balanced protein-based breakfast with a smoothie, and a light lunch on the day of the holiday event.

2) Alternate between water and alcohol

If you’re going to drink, try to alternate between water and alcohol to minimize intake and stay hydrated throughout the party. You can also cut down on alcohol calories by using fruit flavored seltzer water as a mixer with hard liquor instead of sugary mixers like juices and soft drinks. Also, avoid drinking on an empty stomach because alcohol will increase your appetite and decrease your ability to control what you eat.

3) Portion control

When you face a spread of delicious holiday food, make healthy choices easier by having a small plate of food you like best and then move away from the buffet table. Start with the vegetables first so that will fill you up first. You don’t have to restrict yourself from any of the dishes, but choose the dishes you really love and can’t get any other time of the year. Slow down and savor a small serving rather than reaching for a second slice of pumpkin pie. Remember to pace yourself.

4) Focus on socializing, not food

Remember that the holidays are for family and friends to gather and spend time together. Instead of collapsing on the couch, offer to help clean up after a meal, go outside to play with the kids, and socialize with everyone.

5) Keep moving

Resist the urge to fall into a food coma by getting your walk on. Walking after a big meal is one of the healthiest habits you can have during the holidays. Studies have shown that taking a short 15-20 minute walk after a meal can help ease digestion and stabilize blood sugar levels. On top of walking, consider incorporating a physical activity a mandatory thing to do everyday during the holidays. This can be ice skating, shoveling snow, taking the dog on a jog, or squeezing in a yoga session to help keep the body moving.