Tis the season for parties, gifts, and holiday cheer which means you’re going to be faced with an abundance of food. You go to a party and there’s a plethora of baked goodies and candies to choose from. You show up to work and a co-worker brings in a basket of cookies. The coffee shop at the end of your street is serving the BEST seasonal drink that tastes like Christmas in a cup.
From Thanksgiving to New Years people will gain, on average, about one pound and most people don’t ever actually lose that pound (1). Now, I’m not telling you to deprive yourself of all the delicious food that this season presents but I do want to provide a few tips on how to help you eat healthier during the holidays.
- DRINK UP: Stay hydrated by drinking lots of water. Sometimes we think we are hungry but in reality, we are dehydrated. By drinking water, you won’t feel as hungry which will lower your food intake. During the holidays, there are several holiday drinks available- hot chocolate, eggnog, alcoholic beverages. These are delicious but are typically high in calories and sugar. By drinking more water, it will allow you to cut back on drinking these other options.
- BRING A PLATE: If you are invited to a holiday party, offer to bring a treat to share. Bring something like a fruit or vegetable tray. This will ensure there’s a healthy alternative to snack on.
- EAT BEFOREHAND: Don’t skip meals to “save up calories” for your holiday meal. You will most likely binge and end up consuming more calories than you would if you ate regular meals throughout the day. Another related tip is to eat a small meal shortly before attending a party as it will fill you up and you’ll be less inclined to overeat.
- CHOOSE ONE: Don’t deprive yourself of the goodies. Just choose one. If there are options for cookies, cupcakes, brownies, and pie don’t eat all of them, pick your favorite and just eat that one. This will satisfy your sweet craving without going overboard.
- DON’T MUNCH: It’s easy to munch here and there while socializing around the dessert table or as you’re preparing a meal. Resist the urge of doing this. A little here and a little there adds up to be a lot. Distance yourself from the food by talking in another location or chew a piece of gum while you are cooking to lessen the temptation to mindlessly snack.
Eating healthy can be a challenge during the holidays but hopefully, these pointers will help make things a little easier. Enjoy the food but be mindful and intentional about what you’re eating. Happy Holidays!