Keep your focus on a healthy balance of food, activity, and fun! Don’t restrict yourself from enjoying your favorite holiday foods. You can eat well and stay on track by implementing a few simple strategies and party tricks.
If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail. Are you afraid there won’t be any healthy options at your upcoming holiday party? Bring your own healthy dish to ensure there’s something you can indulge in.
Moderation is key.
Moderation is a great mantra for the holiday season! Savor your favorite holiday treats while eating small portions. You do not want to feel like you restricted and missed out, but you also don't want to feel like you indulged in something that wasn't worth it, so plan accordingly.
Include lots of seasonal, colorful organic fruits and vegetables.
Fruits and vegetables will add flavor, color and nutrients to holiday favorites. Since fruits and veggies are both low in calories and high in satiating fiber, these are the ideal items to choose at every meal! Are you up for a challenge? Try filling half your appetizer plate with vegetables and half your dessert plate with fruit.
Don’t skip meals.
Before leaving for a party, eat a light snack like organic vegetables or fruit to curb your appetite. You will be less tempted to over-indulge.
Slash unwanted calories.
Learn where excess calories, sodium, saturated fat and added sugars are hiding in traditional holiday foods and beverages and some easy swaps to avoid them. Survey party buffets before filling your plate. Choose your favorite foods and skip your least favorite.
Beware of alcohol.
Alcohol can lessen inhibitions and induce overeating. If you're going to drink, you need to have something in your stomach to act as a buffer. If you decide to indulge in alcoholic beverages, choose lower calorie options such as vodka tonics or wine. Drink a glass of water between each alcoholic drink to slow down your pace, keep you hydrated and prevent unwanted hangovers.
Avoid sugary drinks.
Sugary drinks such as eggnog or soda, pack on calories without leaving you feeling very full. Instead, drink water, fruit infused water or unsweetened drinks like ice tea.
Take the focus off food.
Plan group activities with family and friends that aren’t all about food. Try playing board games or going on a walking tour of decorated homes.
Practice Healthy Holiday Cooking.
Preparing favorite dishes lower in fat and calories will help promote healthy holiday eating. Incorporate some of these simple tips to make your holiday favorites healthier:
· Gravy — Refrigerate the gravy to harden fat. Skim the fat off.
· Turkey – Enjoy roasted turkey breast without the skin.
· Green Bean Casserole —Top with almonds instead of fried onion rings.
· Mashed Potato — Use skim milk instead of whole milk.