Healthy Eating Tips for the Holidays
Who doesn't love the holiday season? The decorations, the festivities, the in-laws 😉, the FOOD! If you've been managing healthy eating habits throughout the year, the holidays can be a time of struggle - even for those of us who are well practiced. Instead of completely derailing and having to start over each year, we try to keep our healthy eating habits on track with these simple tips!
- Eat your food slowly. If you slow down while eating foods you enjoy, take smaller bites, chew slower, and put down the utensils between bites, you can trick yourself into feeling like you ate more than you actually did AND you'll get to enjoy your favorite foods a little bit longer.
- Decide ahead of time (for food). If you have an idea of what will be served at parties or dinners, try to decide what you are going to eat ahead of time. This will help keep your mind on track when you're bombarded with unhealthy options.
- Decide ahead of time (for events). If you have multiple events to attend, pick the one that you're going to let yourself really enjoy and try to choose healthier options at all of the other ones. Having a plan can help to keep your eating choices in line with your health goals.
- Don’t completely deprive yourself. If you know your favorite dessert is going to be served, make an agreement with yourself that you are going to have a piece of it, you are going to enjoy it, and you are not going to beat yourself up about it later. Keep in mind, if you are going to multiple events where this item may be served, pick one or two where you'll enjoy it and try to say no at the rest.
- Stay hydrated and drink a glass of water before each meal. Thirst pains are often mistaken for hunger pains. If you are dehydrated, you are more likely to mistake those pains for hunger and eat more than you need. Also, drinking a glass of water with your meals will help you feel full sooner and help to prevent you from over eating.
- Use a smaller plate. If you love filling up your plate, use a smaller plate than usual. It will seem like you are getting a nice full plate of food, and you are! Just a smaller one.
- Make sure you aren’t too hungry at the start of a meal. Starting a meal when we feel like we are starving leads to over indulging and eating foods we may not otherwise eat. Ever hear the advice to not go to the grocery store hungry? The same concept applies here. Of course, you want to be a little hungry for your meals but you shouldn’t be ravenous. Have a small snack and hour or two before meals and don’t skip meals on days when you have fancy feasts planned.
- Tell your friends and family. Let those around you know that you intend to maintain your healthy eating habits throughout the holiday season and ask them to help hold you accountable.