5 Healthy Holiday Eating Tips

Individual and Family

5 Healthy Holiday Eating Tips

Published on December 13, 2018

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The holidays are a cheerful time filled with family, festivities, and lots of food! It’s easy to gain weight during this time – in fact, the average American gains 1-2 pounds between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
By following the simple tips below, you can avoid the extra holiday calories still enjoying the festivities and feasts!

1. Practice portion control

An easy way to avoid overeating during the holidays is to manage your portions. Try to eat from a plate, not a package, so you know how much you’re eating.
Also, using smaller dishes, such as a lunch plate for your dinner, will help you eat less. Your plate will look fuller, tricking your brain into thinking you’re still eating a large dinner portion.

2. Prep for parties

If you plan on indulging in some treats during a holiday party, start your day with a small meal that includes whole grains, fruit, and low-fat dairy and protein such as eggs, Greek yogurt or peanut butter.
A meal like this will help you kick start the day with the nutrition you need and fill your belly with healthy foods!

3. Eat thoughtfully

Buffets can be dangerous, even for the healthiest of eaters. The key to maintaining a healthy diet during buffet season is thinking about what you’re putting on your plate.
Start by making just one trip to the buffet table and choose the foods you really want to eat. Only fill half your plate with lower-calorie party foods like fruits and vegetables.
Again, using a smaller plate will help you avoid overeating and keep your portions in control.
Once you’ve filled your plate, eat slowly and savor every bite. If you eat slowly, your body will have time to recognize that you’re full.

4. Eat this, not that

There’s no shortage of food options when it comes to holiday parties. Here’s a list of some foods you should avoid and the ones you should eat instead.

  • Skip dark meat; eat white meat turkey
  • Skip white flour rolls; eat whole-wheat rolls
  • Skip eggnog; drink cider
  • Skip pecan pie; eat pumpkin pie
  • Skip hard alcohol and mixed drinks; drink a wine spritzer

5. Make time for exercise 

It’s important to balance “party calories” with more physical activity. Simple exercises like walking, riding a bike, or yoga, can help you shed the extra calories.
To ensure you’re always getting some kind of exercise in, you can make a healthy habit of taking a walk around the neighborhood after every family dinner.

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