The holiday season is upon us, and with it comes the temptation to over-indulge in sweets, treats, and savory side dishes. It’s easy to fall into unhealthy patterns this time of year as we get too busy for regular activity and we eat more than our fair share of high-calorie foods.
Here are 8 tips to help you have a nutritious and delicious holiday season:
- Eat Ahead of Time. Eat regular meals and snacks before you go to parties and other gatherings. Starving or “saving up” calories often backfires when you overeat from being over-hungry.
- Bring a Healthy Dish. When you are asked to bring food, take a healthy option that you will enjoy eating. That way, there will be at least one healthy option for you to eat. Share good nutrition with the people you care about.
- Prioritize Fruits and Veggies. Fill (at least) half your plate with fruits and vegetable options. Start with the healthy choices that are lower in calories. They will take up space on your plate leaving less room for the treat foods, and since they’re high in fiber they will make you feel satisfied.
- Stand Away from the Food Table. Once you have your plate, station yourself somewhere away from the food so you aren’t tempted to nibble and get seconds.
- Slow Down and Savor Your Food. Focus on the food you have on your plate. Really slow down and savor your food. Pretend to be a food critic and notice the different flavors, seasonings, and textures of the foods you eat.
- Drink Water. Drink water or other calorie-free drinks like seltzer with a slice of lemon or lime. The calories in what we drink can add up fast. For example, ½ cup of low-fat eggnog has 140 calories!
- Be Active. On the day of the event, try to do some extra activity. While at the event, you might suggest going for a walk or having a “dance-off” to keep the gathering active.
- Enjoy the People You Are With. Take time to talk and interact with others so that spending time together becomes your focus more than the food.