With Christmas and New Years coming up, many people are worried that they have to miss out on the delicious casseroles and desserts to stay healthy. Some decide to give up on being healthy all together because they don’t want to miss out on the food. However, there are ways where you can both enjoy those holiday treats and stay healthy, which are listed below:
- Remember Your Fiber – Many holiday dishes don’t contain much fiber, so it is important to go for the ones that will meet your nutrient needs, like fruit salads or vegetable dishes. This way you can get nutrition with your holiday meal.
- Don’t Have an Empty Stomach – Before you go to the holiday party or make treats for yourself, make sure you aren’t famished. Grab a healthy piece of fruit or a handful of healthy granola to hold you over for the meal. This way your hunger will not overpower your health decisions when you fill your plate for dinner.
- Save the Calories for Your Meal – Alcohol and sugar sweetened drinks can pile on the calories without you realizing it. It is best to find lite options for drinks or to go for water. This way you have more room for the meal and dessert.
- Stay Active with Friends and Family – Moving your feet through fun dancing or walks through the neighborhood after your meal is a great way to incorporate physical activity in a fun way with the people you love.
- Everything in Moderation – It’s perfectly okay to eat the same dishes and desserts that you love to have during the holidays but remember to limit your portions to an amount that you would be satisfied with.
- Slow Down with Each Bite – Slowing down with your meals has shown to aid in digestion as well as allow more enjoyment of the meal. When you chew more and savor each bite, this allows you to be more in tune with your fullness level to keep you from overeating and feeling too full after a meal.
- Location, Location, Location – When waiting around with your friends and family before and after a meal, try to move the conversation away from the food area. When you are surrounded by delicious treats during leisurely experiences, you are more prone to eat without thinking or at least want more food than you are hungry for.
- Remember Why You are There – Holiday celebrations are for getting together with friends and family more than about the food. Remember to enjoy your time with them rather than focusing on what you’re going to eat.
- Choose Homemade Over Prepackaged – When deciding between holiday dishes, choose the ones that you know have been made from scratch. These dishes are going to have more natural ingredient and are the healthier option for the holidays.
- Have fun! – Remember that the holidays are for celebrating! If you don’t stay on top of your “diet”, don’t make yourself feel guilty. Enjoy your food, friends, and have fun!
For recipes visit etfbrecipes.org.
The tips featured in this blog post were developed by the USDA. For more information, visit myplate.gov