The holidays are a time for festivities and joy – now more than ever – and food always seems to be the one thing that brings everyone together. Whether your plans have changed this holiday season and you are spending more time at home, or you decide to attend a safe, family gathering, following the tips below can help you maintain healthy eating habits during the holidays:
- Eat regularly. Eating less the day of the gathering – saving room for later – is not a good strategy. Eat regular, small meals throughout the day. This helps to keep you from getting too hungry and overeating at the event.
- Eat before you go. Eating a nutritious snack before you go to a safe gathering can help to take the edge off your appetite and keep you from overeating.
- Use a small plate. Research shows we tend to fill our plates, no matter what size they are. Choosing a small plate reduces the amount of food you can place on the plate. Be aware of portion sizes. Even overeating healthy foods is not a good strategy.
- Start simple by filling your plate with veggies, fruits, green salads, and lean meats. If you see a yummy looking side dish that is high in calories, take just a taste of it. Filling up on the healthy foods may reduce your intake of higher calorie foods.
- Wait 10 minutes. After you’ve eaten your small plate of healthy choices, wait 10 minutes. This allows you brain the time it needs to tell your stomach if it’s full.
- Limit alcohol. When you get to the party, start off with a low-calorie, non-alcoholic drink. If consuming alcohol, small amounts and select drinks with the least amount of sugars and calories.
- When you eat, eat mindfully. Savor each bite. Put your fork down between bites.
- Socialize away from the food. If you’re standing around talking at a party, do it away from the food. You’ll be less likely to spot something that you can’t resist.
- Find activities that don’t involve food. Take a walk. Grab a friend or family member and take a walk or a game in yard, or even play board games. This take the focus off the food.
Have a healthy and happy holiday season!