Holidays are especially difficult for those who are trying to lose weight, so here are 10 healthy eating tips. An average holiday dinner can run into the thousands in calorie count – many more if you add in appetizers, deserts, and drinks.
Make your Holidays Healthy with these TipsWhile it may not be too difficult to manage your diet when not at a gathering with family and friends, you may find it very challenging with all the food and merriment. Here are some tips to help you stick to your plan:
- Don’t go hungry. Just like grocery shopping while hungry is a bad idea – so is attending holiday events. If you start out hungry, you will be more likely to splurge.
- Bring your own treats. Take along your own crunchy snack that you know you will enjoy. While it may not make the appetizer table completely attractive, it will make it easier to avoid the high fat and high sugar snacks. Also consider sticking to the fruit and veggie tray (the healthy snacks) – without the sour cream and mayo dip.
- Bring your own dessert. Again, the dessert table may be mighty tempting but if you take along a natural shake, granola, or fruit bar pack, it will make it easier to skip the pecan pie or triple-dense chocolate cake your aunt makes.
- Don’t be a “taster.” Stay out of the kitchen so you won’t be offered a spoonful of this and a spoonful of that. Even a few spoonfuls of rich and fatty holiday food can be a diet buster.
- Portion control. Your packaged meals are already portion controlled and that is the easiest way to go, but if you feel like you must sit down and eat with the family – stick to the basics in reasonable portions. Green salads, vegetables without a lot of “extras” and white turkey meat are great.
- Ask ahead for healthier options. You can consider this day a “partial meal replacement” day but make sure that there will be some foods that don’t include rich fillings, and stay away from the candied yams and marshmallow salad. You won’t be the only one who prefers healthy options.
- Go late, leave early. Normally, this would be bad advice but this time showing up right before the meal and zipping out right after is excusable. You can skip the appetizers and the desserts easily by not being there.
- Avoid alcohol. Many holiday gatherings include alcoholic beverages which may be fine in moderation when you aren’t dieting, but can dramatically increase your calorie consumption if you partake. Alcohol, even just a bit, also lowers your inhibitions which may means that you allow yourself to eat a lot of things you really didn’t plan on.
- Take a walk. Even with the best of planning, you are probably going to nibble on a few things you didn’t plan on counting or overdo a bit. Schedule in a little extra exercise time to work off some of the calories – take one of your family members or friends with you to help them walk off some of the stuffing in their belly too.
- Start right tomorrow. Do the best you can but no matter what happens, get up the next day and get right back on the program!