5 tips for healthy holiday eating
When holiday celebrations kick into full gear, even the healthiest eaters can be tempted to overindulge. By the time the new year starts, gyms and nutrition programs are typically flooded with people who want to get healthy again fast. But this cycle doesn’t have to happen. With a little bit of moderation and planning, you can stay on track with your health goals. Here are 5 simple tips to help you eat healthy during the holidays.
1. Keep healthy snacks on hand
Gift shopping and holiday parties means jam-packed schedules and hours away from home. Avoid high-calorie snacks, like chips and cookies, when you’re hungry and on the go. Instead, pack nutrient-dense snacks in your bag like nuts, an apple, a mozzarella stick, or a cup of high-protein Greek yogurt.
2. Eat slowly and take small bites
Enjoy your favorite treats of the season — whether it’s spiced eggnog, your mom’s mashed potatoes, or pumpkin pie — but at a slower pace. Research shows that people who eat slowly tend to eat less. This way you can enjoy your favorites without overindulging.
3. Drink lots of water — even at parties
Remember that water is your friend, even at holiday get-togethers. A good rule of thumb at a party is to start with a nonalcoholic, unsweetened drink. Then you can alternate to your “treat” beverage, like a cocktail or soda. For example:
- Drink 1: Water with a lemon wedge
- Drink 2: Your “treat” beverage
- Drink 3: Another glass of water
- Drink 4: Your “treat” beverage
Switch permanently to unsweetened, nonalcoholic drinks at least an hour before you plan to leave. Alternating your drinks will help reduce your sugar and alcohol intake. You’ll enjoy the night more and feel much better in the morning!
4. Portion out desserts
Before you serve dessert, take a moment to cut cakes, pies, and other pan-treats into smaller pieces. The smaller portions will help you and your loved ones keep calorie counts lower. It’ll also help make sure there’s enough for everyone to enjoy
5. Recover from food hangovers
If you overindulge, treat your body right the next day by eating clean. This means avoiding refined carbohydrates (like bread and sweets), drinking lots of water, and eating plenty of veggies with lean protein.