The holidays are a time for family, friends, and desi food. However, all that feasting can quickly lead to weight gain and other health problems. If you want to enjoy the holiday season without risking your health, this guide is for you!
In this guide, you will learn how to make healthier choices when it comes to food and drink. You will also find out what to do if you overindulge and tips for staying active during the holidays. By the end of this guide, you will have all the tools you need to enjoy the holidays without compromising your health!
The holidays are a time for family, friends, and fun... but they can also be a time when our healthy eating habits go out the window.
The holidays do not have to be about unhealthy food. Making good food choices can be easier than you think. Here are some tips for eating healthy during the holidays:
- Plan – If you know you’re going to a party or event, plan and eat a healthy snack before going. This will help you to avoid overindulging in unhealthy foods.
- Eat Slowly – It can take our brains 20 minutes to register when we’re full so eating slowly will keep you from overeating.
- Listen to Your Body – Listen to your hunger and fullness cues. Overeating is often caused by us eat out of habit, not hunger.
- Get Moving – Exercise not only helps you to stay fit, but it can also help to reduce stress. Incorporate fun activities into your holiday like ice skating, sledding, or snowshoeing.
By following these tips, you can stay healthy and enjoy the holiday season without guilt or remorse.
Just because we're indulging in holiday treats doesn't mean we have to sacrifice our health.
Just because we indulge in holiday treats doesn’t mean we have to sacrifice our health. Here are a few additional tips to help you stay healthy during the holidays:
- Hydrate – Drinking plenty of water can help you stay hydrated and reduce overeating.
- Pack Healthy Snacks – Bring healthy snacks with you to parties and gatherings so you can stay energized without overindulging.
- Get Creative in the Kitchen – If you’re hosting a gathering, you can use healthy ingredients like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, and lean protein to create delicious dishes.
- Jump-Start Your Day – Start your day with a healthy breakfast or smoothie to give you energy throughout the day.
- Add a Little Movement – Even if your goal is to relax and enjoy the holidays, you don’t have to stay in one place. Incorporate physical activity into your day, such as taking a walk, riding a bike, or doing some yoga.
Following these tips can help you manage your weight and health during the holiday season. Don’t forget to enjoy yourself, but don’t let the festivities lead to sacrificing your health goals.
Here are some tips for eating healthy during the holidays:
- Eat Mindfully - Eating in a mindful manner helps to ensure you don’t overeat. So, take the time to slow down, savor the flavor of each bite, and take in the surroundings.
- Plate Your Food - Plating your food can help to make sure that you don’t end up with more food than you need. Put a manageable portion on your plate and only return for seconds once you finish the first.
- Make Healthy Swaps - If you’re in the mood for something rich and decadent, look for options that are still healthy but can satisfy your cravings. For example, you can use Greek yogurt instead of sour cream or use a light sprinkle of cheese instead of a heavy top layer.
- Variety is Key – Ensure that every meal or snack offers variety. Eating the same thing day in and day out can be not only dull but unhealthy as well.
- Focus on Quality - While everything we eat is essential, if you’re eating something especially indulgent, try to ensure that the ingredients are of the highest quality. Quality matters: the better the ingredients' quality, the healthier the food will be.
Plan and Make Healthy Choices
Planning and making the right choices can be one of the best ways to ensure you eat healthily during the holidays. Here are some tips that can help make your holiday season healthy:
- Stock up on Healthy snacks – Stock up on healthy snacks like nuts, seeds, and fruits so you can have something healthy to eat throughout the day. This way, you won’t be tempted to eat unhealthy if you’re hungry.
- Pack healthy lunches – To ensure you stay on track during the holidays, pack a healthy lunch and take it with you wherever you go so you won’t be tempted to eat something unhealthy.
- Plan meals ahead of time – Planning meals is a great way to ensure you’re eating healthy during the holidays. Think of some healthy recipes you can make and plan the ingredients and meals to easily prepare them.
- Drink more water – Another great way to stay on track is to ensure you drink plenty of water throughout the day. Not only will it keep you hydrated, but it will also help keep you from overeating.
- Get plenty of sleep – Finally, ensure you get enough sleep each night. When you’re well-rested, you’re more likely to make better decisions about the food that you’re eating.
Enjoy Holiday favorites in Moderation!
Regarding eating healthy during the holidays, it is essential to enjoy your favorite foods in moderation. Indulging in your favorite holiday foods is a great way to feel festive, just make sure to watch your portions and consume them mindfully.
The same goes for sugary drinks and desserts. You can still enjoy the treats that the holidays bring; just be careful not to overindulge. If you want to keep your sweet tooth in check, try to limit your dessert portion to a single serving and opt for something lighter, like fresh fruits and yogurt, when you can.
If you are out at a party, stick to the healthier options like fruits and vegetables first, then indulge in the other items. Doing this will help you to have your favorite home made foods without feeling guilty. It will also make it easier to stick to your healthy eating plan for the rest of the holidays.
Focus on the good things that come with healthy eating during the holidays, such as feeling energized and avoiding feeling weighed down by overindulging. You can still enjoy your favorite holiday foods in moderation and be happy, healthy, and ready to take on all the fun that comes with the season.
Stay Hydrated and Active
Hydration is vital for maintaining your overall health, especially during the holidays. During the cold months, it can be easy to forget about staying hydrated due to the lack of thirst. When your body does not feel thirsty, it is more challenging to know when to rehydrate.
Setting a goal for yourself and staying persistent with it is crucial. Drink a certain number of ounces per day, no matter what. Ensure you have water throughout the day, not just at mealtime, as this can work out better for you.
Another great way to stay hydrated and stay active during the holidays is to incorporate an exercise routine. Find something that you enjoy and then stick with it. Whether it’s a walk around the neighborhood or a more intensive workout, it doesn’t matter. Just ensure you do something to keep your body in motion. In addition to helping with hydration, exercise has many other health benefits and can help boost your mood.
To Wrap Things Up
You now have an extensive list of tips and strategies to incorporate into your everyday life regarding eating healthy over the holidays. Here are a few key takeaways to remember:
- Plan your meals. Taking time to plan out your meals and grocery list helps you track your eating and eliminates the chances of unhealthy eating.
- Have healthy snacks available. Healthy snacks such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and homemade trail mixes help you make smarter food choices when hunger strikes.
- Don’t forget about breakfast. Eating a healthy and nutritious breakfast can give you the energy you need for the day and help keep you full between meals.
- Don’t cave into cravings. Stay mindful of your cravings and opt for a healthier option, such as adding some fruits or vegetables to the recipe.
The holidays are a time for joy, family, and delicious food. Allow yourself to indulge and savor the special moments. Just remember to try and keep your eating habits consistent and enjoy the seasonal delicacies in a smart and balanced way!