Eating Tips for Surviving the Holidays

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It is that time of year again - family feasts, workplace treats, and holiday parties. The holiday season can be quite challenging when it comes to staying on track with your nutrition goals and maintaining healthy eating habits. The good news is that you can still enjoy this time with family and friends. The key is to plan ahead and enjoy holiday foods in moderation.

Tips To Help Maintain a Healthy Weight During the Holiday Season:

1) Don’t save your calories.

Although it may be tempting to skip meals to save your calories for holiday treats, it’s better to stick to your regular eating patterns. You are more likely to overindulge if you arrive at a party hungry.

2) Don’t forget the basics.

Just because it’s the holidays doesn’t mean you can’t maintain the same healthy eating habits. Pay attention to portion sizes, start with protein, eat slowly, and track your intake. Keeping these basic rules in mind will help avoid overeating.

3) Be mindful.

Eating while socializing can easily lead to eating too much. Enjoy the conversation and company. Save eating for a time when you can focus on the food, so you can enjoy the flavor and texture.

4) Steer clear of the buffet table and kitchen.

Standing close to the food may result in mindless nibbling. Carefully select items you truly want to try, and then move away.

5) Go easy on the alcohol.

For starters, alcoholic drinks are full of empty calories. It’s better for you to eat your calories than drink them. And remember, in addition to adding calories, alcohol can actually dehydrate you. You are also more likely to overindulge at the buffet table after a couple of drinks.

6) Bring a dish to share.

By bringing your own dish, you can be certain that there is a healthy option at the gathering.

7) Choose healthier options.

Give your favorite recipe a healthy makeover or look for alternatives that cut the fat and calories.

For example:

  • Use skim milk instead of whole milk or 2% milk in your mashed potatoes.
  • Use fat-free creamed soups in your recipes rather than the full-fat versions.
  • Consider substitutes for sugar, such as unsweetened apple sauce or non-caloric sweeteners.
  • Add flavor with garlic, spices, and herbs rather than salt and other fats (such as butter and gravy).
  • Combine ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt with ½ cup of butter to replace 1 cup of butter in a recipe.
  • When baking your favorite holiday treats, replace each egg with two egg whites, and substitute evaporated skim milk in place of heavy cream.
  • For sweet treats, try using ½ Splenda for baking and ½ sugar for the amount of sugar needed in a recipe.

8) Be kind to yourself.

Maybe you overindulged a bit. Maybe you sampled a few too many goodies. That doesn’t mean all is lost. Forgive yourself, recommit to healthy patterns and move on. And remember, it’s OK to allow yourself an occasional treat.

Get support to achieve your New Year goals.

Do you need help building healthy habits for 2023 and beyond? Would you like to partner with a dietitian who will meet you where you are on your health journey? Meet our new Licensed and Registered Dietitian, Britney West! She has over 13 years of experience and is passionate about helping patients with a balanced and realistic approach to healthy, mindful eating. Learn more about Britney West here and click here to schedule an appointment to start your New Year off with the tools you need to be successful!

Regardless of the date published, no content on this website should ever be used as a replacement for direct medical advice from your primary care provider or another qualified clinician.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.