Healthy Eating During the Holidays

Pumpkin pie, chocolate fudge, big meals with all the trimmings…ready or not, the holiday season is right around the corner.  In many homes, people celebrate holiday times with big dinners.  From Thanksgiving to New Years, there are plenty of times to over eat.  Eating too much during this time can mean gaining extra pounds.  With a few tips, you can avoid gaining extra weight.  It’s easier than you might think!
  1. Don’t skip meals waiting for a big dinner.  You could find yourself so hungry that you are tempted to over eat and eat fast.  Plus, skipping meals can make you feel tired and grumpy.  Holidays are a time to visit with family and friends so you’ll need plenty of energy.
  2. Have a plan in mind.  Think about what types of foods will be at holiday dinners and parties.  Most of the time there are several different dishes and desserts.  Think about the foods you love best and try to only fill up your plate once.  Eat slowly and enjoy every bite.  By staying away from those second helpings, you will be less likely to over eat.
  3. As you decide what you’ll put on your plate, fill it with vegetables first.  By filling half your plate with vegetables, you won’t have as much room for the less healthy foods.  Try eating a salad with low fat dressing first and drinking plenty of water.  Skipping sugary drinks is another way to eat healthy during the holidays.
  4. Choose lean sources of protein like baked skinless turkey or pork roast.  Fill up a small section of your plate with the lean proteins.   You will still have a small amount of room to decide on your favorite starchy food like homemade noodles or bread.
  5. Try having fruit salad for dessert.  You don’t have to go without your favorite holiday treats, just eat a little less.  Try to avoid snacking on desserts and go for some raw veggies.  If you are tempted to eat the holiday cookies that are on the counter top, put them out of sight.  Add fresh fruit to a favorite bowl or on a plate to leave out.
  6. Don’t forget to include some exercise during the holidays.  This will help you have more energy.  Exercise can also help you to not gain extra weight.  It isn’t hard to add exercise to your busy day.  Park your car further from the store when you get groceries.  Window shopping is a great excuse to take a walk.  

Eating healthy during the holidays can be a challenge.  It only takes small changes to make a big difference.  Focus on enjoying your family and friends and have a wonderful holiday season!


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© Eat Smart, Be Fit Maryland!Maira Gall