The holidays can be a tricky time of year to make healthy food choices, but maintaining a healthy diet during the holidays is possible! Here are some tips on how to eat healthy during the holiday season:
1. Don’t arrive on an empty stomach
- You may be tempted to skip lunch because you know you will be eating a lot at the holiday party later. However, depriving yourself of food the whole day may cause you to splurge and choose less healthy food items.
- Eat small portions throughout the day to curb your hunger. Try to choose healthy items if you don’t think there will be healthy options available for you later at the party.
2. Bring a healthy dish
- If you are worried that there won’t be healthy options at the party, bring your own dish (like a fruit salad or veggie plate) to ensure there is something you can eat without feeling guilty. When preparing recipes, try low-fat alternatives for some ingredients.
3. Balance out your calories with water
- Drinking water before and with your meal can help you feel full sooner. Alcoholic drinks, punch, and eggnog are packed with calories that will really add up throughout the course of the night, so choose water or diet beverages instead.
4. Keep your distance from the food table
- Try not to hang out near the food so you aren’t tempted to grab a handful of chips every few minutes.
5. Check out all the food options before loading up your plate
- Decide on what foods are worth eating and which you can pass up. It’s okay to have some treats you enjoy, just plan out your calories and enjoy the foods you choose!
- Remember: Moderation is key. Instead of loading up your plate with all of the food items that look good to you, take small portions of some. From there, you can decide which items are worth the calories and you can go for seconds, if needed.
6. Embrace the food, but pace yourself.
- Take your time and enjoy your meal. It takes about 20 minutes for your stomach to signal your brain telling it that you are full. So if you eat slowly, you are more likely to notice that you are full before you get over-stuffed.