Holiday Eating: You CAN Enjoy Yourself and Stay Healthy

holiday eating
Dr. Geoffrey Harris, MD

Everyone has trouble staying on track with healthy eating during the holidays. The goods news is there are sane ways to approach holiday parties and holiday meals so that you can really enjoy yourself and not feel guilty afterward. I’ll divide my recommendations into two groups: things you can do during a party, and things you can do during the holiday season to keep up a healthy SuperFoodsRx lifestyle.

Healthy Eating Party Recommendations

  • Make the party about friends and family, not eating.
    Remember what the holiday season is all about — and it’s not about over-eating!
  • Don’t starve yourself before a party.
    Stick to your healthy routine. This will help control your appetite and keep you from over-eating low-nutrient, high-calorie party foods.
  • Stay hydrated.
    Thirst can be confused for hunger. Be sure to drink at least one full glass of water before beginning to eat anything.
  • Remember serving sizes.
    A serving of nuts is a small handful, not many handfuls. You can enjoy all the goodies at the party but in moderate portions.
  • When you’re hungry, choose SuperFoods.
    The holidays are loaded with SuperFoods, and most parties have cut vegetables and other healthy options.
  • Skip the dip.
    Avoid dipping vegetables into dips; they’re usually high in fat and calories.
  • Be mindful of what you are doing and what you are eating.
    Ask yourself: Are you hungry? Or are you just nervously snacking?
  • Be gracious.
    Don’t make others feel self-conscious about what they’re eating. Be sure to compliment the host on the party. Don’t make a big deal about avoiding the unhealthy parts of the buffet, instead say, “The food looks delicious.”

Holiday Season Tips

  • Stay active.
    Make exercise a priority during the holidays. Exercise will keep your energy level high, keep your metabolism revved up, and help you deal with holiday stress.
  • Be sure to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night.
    Yes, it’s a busy time, but sleep deprivation disrupts metabolism and being tired can lead to bad dietary choices. Many people find that they crave sugars and starches more when they are not getting enough sleep.
  • Try to include 15 minutes of a stress reduction activity into your daily routine.
    Prayer, meditation, yoga, quiet personal time, or reading (not work-related!) can help focus your energies and relieve stress. Stress can lead to holiday over-eating.
  • Be thankful.
    To help prevent emotional eating during the holidays try to focus on the positive aspects of your life. Start by making a list of the things for which you’re grateful. Keep the list where you can see it and add to it whenever you can.
  • Enjoy your family and friends.
    Many of us use food to deal with anxiety, loss, or unhappiness. Eating is never the answer.

Remember, holiday eating can be healthy, and holiday parties can be fun.

Happy Holidays!


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