Ahhhh, the holidays…filled with friends, family, fun, and totally tempting foods. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the holidays–and many of its festive foods–without derailing your diet or packing on the pounds. Read on for some helpful tips on how to keep both your tummy and your waistline happy and healthy throughout the holiday season.
- Going to a party or other holiday event? Eat small, healthy meals throughout the day. That way, you won’t be starving when you arrive, and you can afford to indulge in a treat since you’ve eaten healthily the rest of the day.
- Scope out the buffet before loading up your plate. Choose a few favorite foods, skip foods you don’t have to have, and load up on fruits and veggies–they’re naturally fat-free. They’re also packed with water, which will keep you hydrated and help you feel full.
- Eat sugary or fattening treats in moderation. Sugar and fat often makes us crave even more sugar and fat. Be mindful of this and only put one serving, or a few bites of, a treat on your plate.
- You don’t have to clear your plate. Eat until you’re satisfied, not stuffed. And if you don’t absolutely love that food you’re eating, don’t mindlessly eat it. Ask yourself whether that treat is really worth it before you eat another bite.
- Savor your holiday meals and treats. Take small bites and chew slowly; don’t wolf down your food. Not only can that make you overeat, but your stomach might not appreciate it!
- Going to a potluck? Bring your own healthy dish so that you know there’s a good-for-you food there to chow down on.
- If you’re going to a holiday function and don’t know what’s being served, stash some healthy snacks in your car or handbag–cut-up carrots, a piece of fruit, some nuts, a granola bar, etc. If you don’t like what food is being served there, or you feel it’s too unhealthy, at least you’ll have a few healthy things to munch on.
- Avoid slathering your food with creamy, heavy gravies or dressings. This packs quite a calorie punch. If you’re having salad, opt for a fat-free vinaigrette or some olive oil, which is made up of healthy fats.
- Focus more on friends and family instead of food.
- If you overindulge, all is not lost–it’s not an invitation to go overboard every time! Get back on the healthy eating wagon as soon as possible.
- Beware of liquid calories. Things like eggnog and alcohol can be high in calories. If you enjoy these beverages (and are of age!), drink only in moderation. Make sure to also drink plenty of water to keep yourself properly hydrated–and water won’t pack on the pounds!
- Don’t stand right near the munchies. All they’ll do is tempt you. Instead, walk away from the munchies and engage someone in conversation.
If you’re concerned about your diet, you may want to consider talking to your family doctor or nutritionist.