Food and the holidays go hand in hand. What would a get-together be without food? Chances are that you will find yourself surrounded by plenty of tempting calories on several occasions this season. So what’s a trying-so-hard-to-be-healthy you to do?
a. Not eat. Just sip on seltzer.
b. Go crazy and eat it everything and lots of it, after all, New Year’s is just around the corner, and then you can get on track again.
c. Try not to stress and eat just a little bit of everything…only to realize that all those “little bits” add up. Wine doesn’t count, right?
d. Have a strategy, relax, and enjoy yourself.
5 Key Tactics for Healthier Holiday Eating:
- Fill your plate with at least half veggies. Whether you are sitting down at the Thanksgiving table or choosing appetizers at a holiday party, start with the veggies (fruit is also good) and make sure they fill at least half your plate. This will keep the cheese, meatballs, and bacon-wrapped scallops from taking over.
- Alternate alcoholic drinks with water. Alcohol is high in calories, the kind of calories that go straight to your waistline. Keep your alcohol consumption in check by alternating drinks with water or seltzer water.
- Skip the white bread and crackers. When there is so much other good stuff to be had, why fill up on white bread and crackers? Instead, pair the cheese with fruit and choose the whole grain bread or crackers (if available).
- Choose 1 dessert or 3 mini slivers. There is usually quite an array of desserts to choose from during these holiday gatherings, making it hard to choose just one. The easiest is to choose just one, but if you (like me) really need to taste a few, do just that, but keep it to just a mini sliver of each (about 3-4 bites per sliver).
- Be mindful. Last, but not be least, one of the most important tactics to remember is to be mindful. Be mindful of what you put on your plate and really taste and enjoy everything you eat. Eat slowly and take the time to make conversation between each bite. This is no time to be throwing back food or drink without tasting it.
* * * * *
In addition to all of the above, trying to stick to your usual exercise schedule, getting enough sleep, and reducing stress will also help you to eat well. The stress part is so important this time of year. So often we are running from one place to the next without slowing down enough to enjoy the journey. So, slow down, make a healthy eating strategy, and plan to enjoy this holiday season.