10 Healthy Eating Tips For The Holiday Season To Keep You On Track
Your Guide To Eating Healthy During The Holidays
How can I eat healthy on holidays?
This is a common question given that the holiday season is a wonderful time of year, filled with delicious food, family and friends. But it can also be a period of over-indulging, unhealthy habits and excess weight gain.
To help you enjoy the holidays without sacrificing your health and fitness goals, here are 10 practical and easy-to-follow healthy eating tips for the holiday season.
These tips will not only help you make healthier choices, but also keep you on track and feeling your best during the holidays.
From stocking your kitchen with healthy foods to mindful eating habits, you will be able to make the most of the festive season and end the year feeling healthy and happy.
Stock your kitchen with healthy foods
Stocking your kitchen with healthy foods will make it easier to choose healthy options when you are hungry or pressed for time.
You can also use it as a way to fill a void during the holidays when you may feel drawn to unhealthy foods. When you are hungry and craving something specific, it may not always be the right choice.
However, if you have healthy options on hand, you can easily satisfy your hunger and cravings without over-indulging.
Healthy foods that are great to keep in your kitchen include fruits and vegetables, protein smoothies, chicken breast, fish, brown rice, beans and lentils.
If you are pressed for time, pre-made smoothies, dried fruits and nuts make great snacks as they are portable and take little time to prepare.
Choose healthy snacks
Nothing beats a good old-fashioned healthy snack in between meals. It is important to remember to eat the right foods between meals, especially during the holiday season.
This will help to keep your energy levels high, your metabolism active, and help you avoid overeating during holiday meals.
Healthy snacks include fruit, vegetables, protein smoothies, nuts, seeds, plain yogurt, plain milk and milk alternatives, and wholewheat crackers.
Healthy Christmas cookies, cakes, and other festive treats also make great snacks, provided they are eaten in moderation.
When choosing snacks, try to avoid foods that are high in saturated fats, sugars, and sodium, such as bacon, cheese, chips, burgers, and chocolate.
Choose healthier cooking methods
Some dishes, like roast turkey and ham, are naturally healthy, but others, like loaded mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, and candied yams are not.
When cooking your favorite holiday dishes, choose healthier cooking methods to make them less unhealthy.
Instead of using butter, use coconut oil or olive oil, and instead of using heavy cream, use milk or milk alternatives.
If you are baking, use wholewheat flour and reduce the sugar content. If you are steaming vegetables, try roasting them in the oven with a drizzle of olive oil for added flavor.
Practice mindful eating
When you are enjoying festive meals with family and friends, it is important to practice mindful eating. This means eating slowly, chewing food thoroughly, and savoring each bite.
When you are mindful eating, you are more likely to feel full after eating less and eating slowly and thoroughly can help to prevent overeating.
It can also help to put away your phone while you are eating, or at least put it on silent so that you are not distracted by notifications.
Stop eating when you're full.
Eat smaller portions
While it is important to eat between meals, it is also important to eat smaller meals.
Eating smaller portions has been shown to help people feel more satisfied after a meal and to consume fewer calories overall.
This will help you to avoid gaining weight over the holiday season and beyond. Eating smaller meals is not the same as skipping meals – it is more about eating smaller meals more frequently to avoid feeling too full.
When you are eating with family and friends, try to eat a smaller portion than everyone else, especially if you are eating several smaller meals throughout the day.
Don’t skip meals
While it is important to eat smaller portions, it is not healthy to skip meals.
During the holiday season, it can be easy to neglect your health and fitness goals because you are busy with family and friends. If you are finding that you are too busy to eat, try to fit in one meal per day, even if it is a small one or a protein shake.
Skipping meals can lead to feelings of low energy and irritability.
Drink plenty of water
Water is essential for health, metabolism, and digestion.
It is important to drink water throughout the holiday season, especially if you are eating larger meals or indulging in festive treats. Water can help to prevent bloating, constipation, and other digestive issues that can arise, particularly during the winter.
Water can also help to prevent many of the negative health effects that can arise from drinking alcohol, such as feeling tired and hung over. If you are hosting a party or attending one, it can be easy to drink more than you should.
Make sure you are drinking water instead of alcohol wherever possible, and try to drink water before and between drinks to help to stay hydrated.
Choose healthier desserts
Holiday desserts are usually packed with sugar, fat, and calories, which you can avoid by choosing healthier desserts.
At a party, you can ask for a small portion of a healthier dessert and share it with others. If you are hosting a party, you can ask guests to bring healthier desserts, or offer healthier options such as fresh fruit, plain yogurt, or granola.
If you are craving a sweet dessert, try to eat a small portion of a healthy dessert rather than a large piece of something unhealthy.
Get some physical activity
While it is important to eat healthy foods and reduce your calorie intake during the holiday season, it is also important to get some daily physical activity.
Getting some exercise each day will not only help you to burn calories but will also help to reduce stress, improve your sleep, and make you feel happier overall. If you are busy with family and friends, it can be easy to forget to squeeze in that daily exercise session.
It is important not to let the holidays get in the way of your fitness goals, so try to fit in that daily exercise, even if it is for just a few minutes.
Even something as simple as walking to the shops or taking a walk in your local park can help to improve your health and fitness.
Many gyms and fitness centers offer reduced rates over the holiday season, so you can get a membership for a reduced price.
If you cannot make it to the gym, try some simple exercises from home such as push-ups, sit-ups, or yoga.
Enjoy yourself in moderation
During the holiday season, it is important to enjoy yourself as much as possible, but it is also important not to overdo it. It can be easy to overindulge in food and alcohol during the festive season, so it is important to try to moderate your intake.
You can make it easier to moderate your intake by eating smaller portions and drinking plenty of water. It is important not to make strict rules for yourself, such as not drinking any alcohol or eating any sweets – this can make you feel guilty, which can lead to an overall negative experience.
It is important to enjoy yourself and make the most of the festive season. Just be sure to do so in moderation.