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Eating Healthy This Holiday Season

Eating Healthy This Holiday Season

This season, it can be quite easy to get swept up and overindulge in treats – treats that strain the waistline and tax the arteries. By just consuming an extra 200 calories a day – a tumbler of eggnog here, a piece of pecan pie there, some sugar cookies here and a couple of scoops of gingerbread trifle there – it’s possible to pack on some extra pounds in a matter of weeks. Sure, this doesn’t sound like a lot, except few people are able to shed the extra weight in the months to come.

The good news is, you do not need to eat only bland foods, deprive yourself, or eat your holiday treats with a side order of guilt. By eating healthy during the holidays, you can survive the holidays without jotting down ‘diet’ in your New Year’s resolutions.

Here are some helpful tips on smart and healthy eating this holiday season.

Practice budgeting

Avoid consuming everything that you see at parties and gatherings. Choose the foods that you eat and spend calories sensibly on the foods that you actually love to eat.

Keep your heart healthy by maintaining your distance

Do not stand next to the food table during parties. Being next to the treats will make it easier for you to carelessly reach for something to munch on as you talk. If you are aware that you are prone to recreational eating, have a stick of gum or a mint so you will be more successful at avoiding the chips.

Take 10

It’s always a good idea to take a 10-minute break after you finish eating your first helping, since it takes a couple of minutes for your stomach to signal your brain that it’s getting full. Eat slowly. Drink some water or make conversation. Then double-check your appetite. You might find that you only need a small portion or you are already full by that time.

Cheers to your health

Did you know that a glass of beer, mixed drinks, or wine can set you back from 150 to 200 calories; a glass of eggnog around 500 calories? If you plan to consume alcohol, be sure to drink a glass of water between drinks.

Make room for vegetables

Do not ignore the fruits and vegetables on the holiday spread. They make wonderful main dishes and great snacks, unless they are laden with butter or creamy sauces.

Cook from the heart

Show your friends and family that you care about their health by being creative with recipes and using less cream, butter, vegetable shortening, lard, and other food items that are rich in saturated fats. For instance, turkey is a better and healthier alternative to red meat.

Focus on what really matters

Yes, food is a staple and an important part of holiday celebrations, but do not forget to focus more on laughter and cheer, family and friends. If moderation and balance are your typical guides, it’s typically fine to indulge every once in a while.

Make this year different and eat healthily this holiday season – while still enjoying yourself!


“5 Healthy Eating Tips for the Holidays,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
“Five Healthy Eating Tips for the Holidays,” U.S. Department of Agriculture,
“Healthy Holiday Eating Habits,” Northwestern Medicine,