Health Advocate Blog

Healthy holiday eating tips

Eating well can be challenging at any time of the year, but can become more difficult in the cooler months due to an abundance of comfort food, holiday meals and treats. In fact, eating healthy has a stronger influence on weight gain than physical activity and exercise. Try some of these tips to prevent overindulging during the holiday season!

Eat smart at holiday functions. Follow this simple rule: make half your plate fruits and vegetables, one quarter protein, and one quarter grains at each meal.

Eat healthy before you go. This is the most effective strategy; eating a healthy meal or snack can help you avoid filling up on party food.

Bring a healthy dish. This way you are guaranteed an option that won’t compromise your goals. Click here for tips to help you make your holiday meals healthier.

Work the room. Rather than parking yourself in front of the food, move around or find a seat away from it.

Eat slowly. Savor each bite and really enjoy eating the food. By eating slowly, you may reduce the possibility of overeating. Click here for tips to help you eat more mindfully.

Learn to say “no thanks.” Chances are you’ll be asked to taste or offered servings of food that friends or family members made. You don’t have to try everything!

Know your hunger cues. Listen to your body; know when you are comfortably satisfied rather than eating until you are uncomfortably full. Click here to learn about the hunger scale.

Choose beverages wisely. Many drinks can be high in calories and sugar; both contribute to weight gain. Also, alcoholic beverages can increase your appetite and give you a false sense of hunger, causing you to eat more.

Take the focus off of food. While most holidays center on meals, the true meaning and intention behind them is generally togetherness. Rather than filling up on food, indulge in conversation and spend quality time with your friends and family. Click here for tips.

Know your limits. The cooler weather brings comfort foods, holiday meals and sweet treats. It’s okay to enjoy these things, but do so in moderation. Moderation is a much better approach than making them off-limits. If you allow yourself to eat for enjoyment some of the time, you’re more likely to stick to your healthy eating goals.