7 Tips for Healthy Holiday Eating
The holiday season is here! This means that temptation is everywhere, and holiday gatherings and traveling disrupt daily routines. You don’t want all your hard work to be lost over the next few weeks, so it’s important to continue making healthy choices. By eating just 200 extra calories a day, you could pack on 3 to 5 pounds over the holiday season. Yikes!
Here are seven tips for healthy holiday eating.
- Track your calories using an app.
Calorie tracking apps are a great tool to have on hand. If you don’t own one already, we recommend downloading an app for the holidays. Examples include MyFitnessPal, MyPlate and Fooducate. Using an app of this sort, you can track what you’re eating and spend your calories wisely.
- Take a break in between meals.
It takes time for your stomach to catch up to your brain. Eat slowly and truly enjoy your meals this holiday season. Also, take a 10-minute break in between meals. You might find that you don’t need seconds after all.
- Don’t stand next to the snack table.
It’s easy to consume hundreds of extra calories just by standing next to the snack table. Avoid this mindless eating by standing away from high-calorie snack foods. If you are prone to snacking, pop a piece of gum in your mouth.
- Eat before going to parties.
It may sound counterproductive, but it can be helpful to eat something before going to a holiday party. Choose something that is low in calories and high in protein so that you are less likely to snack. Examples include an apple with peanut butter or hummus with fresh veggies.
- Swap casseroles for fresh foods.
Offer to bring a side dish to your event if you’re not hosting. Instead of high-calorie casseroles, prepare fresh vegetables. For example, sautéed green beans are a much healthier option to green bean casserole. Other options include roasted brussel sprouts, oven-roasted sweet potatoes and baked zucchini.
- Pace your drinks.
It’s not just food that can lead to excess calories but holiday drinks, too. A glass of eggnog can have as many as 500 calories in it! To avoid getting too many calories this way, pace yourself with plain water or seltzer water in between drinks.
- Find ways to stay active.
Find ways to sneak in activity when you can. Enjoy a walk around the block with the grandkids. Or, find activities in your community that get you out and moving, such as caroling or looking at holiday displays.
- Get enough sleep.
Not getting enough rest at night can make it harder to control your blood sugar. When you’re sleep deprived, you’re also more likely to prefer high-fat, high-sugar foods. Make a full night’s rest a priority, even when traveling.
Although food is a big part of the holiday season, remember what the true spirit of this time of year is: spending time with friends and family! Be sure to visit our videos on positive and healthy nutrition!