Seven Tips for Healthy Holiday Eating

December 12, 2016 02:42 PM

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"Losing weight" and "getting healthier" are perennially present on New Year's Resolution lists. It is no coincidence that Americans develop these goals after the holidays. Office and family Christmas parties entice us to eat sweets and fatty foods. Once we have eaten all the things, we feel like we need to spend all year working off the weight we gained.

In this article, we have developed a list of seven tips to help you enjoy the holiday foods without feeling like you must work all year to lose the weight.

1) Stay Active During Winter

Staying active is key to battling holiday weight gain. Though the weather outside may be frightful, the fire is much more delightful after you have spent some time outdoors. With the family gathering for Christmas, there are several fun activities you can do together, even if you must bundle up:

  • Take a Walk: Instead of driving, walk the neighborhood to see the Christmas lights.
  • Go to the Park: You will have your choice of playground equipment.
  • Holiday Bowl: Flag Football or Ultimate Frisbee will be so much fun you won’t even realize you’re cold.
  • Go Sledding: This may be wishful thinking in Raleigh, NC, but sledding is great exercise in the event we experience a White Christmas.

2) Eat All Your Meals

If you know you are attending a Christmas party, make sure you do not go to the banquet hungry. If you eat your normal breakfast and lunch, you will be less likely to overeat high calorie snacks and desserts at the party.

3) Know Your Choices

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Before shuffling through the buffet line, survey the options. This will help you avoid filling your plate with a "little bit" of everything.

4) Find the Healthy Food Options

After you have thoroughly surveyed the pot-luck situation, choose larger portions of the healthier options. If it’s your party, make sure you provide healthy treats such as:

  • Hearty, Healthy Soups and Stews
  • Vegetable and Fruit Trays
  • Hummus, rather than Mayonnaise based spreads
  • Lean Proteins
  • Leafy Salads
  • Light Gravy

Rather than smothering your turkey in gravy, just use an amount equivalent to a tablespoon. If you return for seconds, there will be plenty of vegetables and fruit with which to fill your plate.

5) Stay Away from the Sweets

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One of the most common errors we make is having conversations by the cookie table. Stand or sit across the room from the desserts, far enough to have to make a conscious decision to snack on the sweet things. Furthermore, it will always be less crowded by the vegetable and fruit tables.

6) Drink Wisely

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Holiday beverages are often high in calories. Limit your glasses of eggnog and other fatty dessert drinks. Furthermore, excess alcohol can make you a little less diligent regarding your calorie intake, so mind the amount you consume.

7) Enjoy the Season

Christmas comes once a year, so enjoy this time with friends and family. It is good to make wise decisions regarding what you eat, but do not stress so much that you forget what is important. On average, Americans only gain about a pound during the holiday season. Gaining a pound is well worth enjoying the most wonderful time of the year.