10 Tips for a Healthy, Happy Holiday Season

Come fall and winter time, the holidays seem to come one after another
and the holiday parties add up…

It starts near Labor Day and goes right on past to New Years. Typically, during this time of year, our eating habits include foods and drinks that are so delicious, yet carry negative effects in the long haul if we go overboard. So how does someone enjoy the holidays and still maintain their health and goals? Below are 10 tips to help you reach that goal without moving to the next waist size.

  1. First things first, don’t even think about “dieting” during the holiday season. Your biggest goal during our most favorite season is to simply maintain your weight or avoid weight gain. Dieting, besides not working, puts your body under stress, leading you to be more prone to weight gain due to a rise in the stress hormone cortisol. Enjoy the season while also maintaining balance.
  2. Keep your fridge stocked with healthy options. Overindulged at a party? Keep your head up! Simpy focus on staying hydrated and eating healthy the next day, starting with a high-fiber breakfast such as oatmeal or a smoothie. Fill your plate with plenty of fruits and veggies!
  3. Bring a healthy dish to the party, something simple and delicious. Bring a light dip with either multigrain or wheat bread, so you have something that is somewhat healthy to munch on.
  4. Watch which beverage you choose this time of year. If you must have a mixed drink, try something like a clear liquor and diet soda, light or ultra-light beer, or a nice glass of wine. And always drink plenty of water and limit the sugary drinks!
  5. Good or bad, holiday gatherings tend to be lengthy, use this to your advantage, and take part in the eating and drinking at a slow pace. The slower you eat, the more time your brain has to receive the signal that you’ve eaten, reducing your risk of overindulging.
  6. Chase the kids, or take a walk, whatever it is, make sure you keep up with some type of activity.. Winter time is hard enough for many people with the cold and darkness, so some activity will help you gain or maintain physical and mental acuity.
  7. Eat something at home before going to a party. This keeps your blood sugar steady, so you aren’t tempted to go crazy come party time. Have a light snack with carbs and protein, such as cheese and crackers, hummus and carrots, or greek yogurt, to keep you from overeating when you arrive to the party.
  8. Watch the portion size – no need to avoid the dessert table completely. Choose your favorite one, and watch the portion size. Sit down and truly savor it!
  9. If you have the chance to host a gathering, stack the odds on your side by putting veggies, and light snacks out rather than the pizza and wings. As long as the drinks are cold, and the food crunches, we are in heaven.
  10. This rule applies all year long: Stay far and away from fast food joints. It may seem like a good idea while you’re out shopping, but your body will love you so much more if you keep on drivin’ by. Stay prepared by stocking your car with healthy snacks such as dried fruit, nuts, and protein bars like RXBars or Larabars.

Want to come up with a personalized plan to maintain your health during the holidays? Meet with one of our Registered Dietitians!