During this holiday season make a promise to put yourself and your family at the top of your list. As hard as you’ve worked to stay on course with your healthy lifestyle throughout the year, the holiday season has the potential to throw you off. Travel, parties, big meals, snack foods at the office and around home all create a challenging environment for eating healthy for the entire family.
Remember for the Holidays
- Eat breakfast or snacks earlier in the day and avoid the idea of saving calories for the big feast later on. If you skip meals, it may be harder to manage your hunger later.
- Limit the number of servings of starchy foods on your plate. It might be tempting to have some mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole and rolls, however, try to choose just one of these items. Or just take a few spoonfuls or bites of each.
- Choose fruits and vegetables served raw, grilled or steamed. Avoid vegetables in creams, gravies and butter.
- Stick to calorie-free drinks such as water, tea, or seltzer instead of punch, soda, or mixed drinks.
- If you choose to drink alcohol, limit the amount and have it with food. Talk with your healthcare team about whether alcohol is safe for you. Women should drink no more than one alcoholic beverage a day and men should drink no more than two.
A DRINK IS:
12 fluid ounces (fl oz) of beer
5 fl oz of wine
1½ fl oz of 80-proof distilled spirits
1 fl oz of 100-proof distilled spirits
- For kids, promote water consumption and limit their sugary beverage (soda, fruit juice, eggnog) intake to 8 fl oz per day.
- Enjoy your favorite holiday treats, but take small portions, eat slowly, and savor the taste and texture.
- After your meal, take a walk with family and friends. Exercise will also get you moving, keep you focused on your goals, and give you a welcome break from being surrounded by treats. Exercise is also a great way to lower possible holiday stress.
- If you overindulge, don’t beat yourself up. If you eat more food than you planned for, don’t think you have failed; just make a plan to get back on track.
- Enjoy your time eating together with family and friends around the table. Eliminate screen time (T.V., computers, phones) and eat slowly to help enjoy the food and conversations.
Holiday Parties and Gatherings
- Eat a small, balanced meal or snack before you leave home. If you arrive to the party hungry, you’ll be more likely to overindulge (another great reason to NOT skip breakfast and lunch).
- Study ALL of the food options, and think about what you are going to have before you put anything on your plate. Decide which foods are worth eating and which can be ignored, and then stick to that decision.
- Choose vegetables first. Broccoli, baby carrots, cauliflower, peppers and tomatoes are good choices that are usually on the appetizer table. Take only a small spoonful of dip or skip it entirely.
- Eat chips and crackers in moderation, and definitely avoid eating them straight from the bag. Put some on a small plate and don’t load them down with creamy mayo-based dips.
- Try not to hang out near the food to avoid grazing. Find a comfortable spot across the room and focus on socializing instead of eating.
- Sip a large glass of water or mineral water. This will keep you hydrated and provide you with a better option than alcohol or sugary beverages.
- Take a walk or attend your usual exercise session the day of a party. Make it a priority rather than saying there isn’t time.