By Kristi Winkels, RDN, LD
Food is a big part of holiday celebrations. How can you eat sensibly with all of the temptation? Here are a few tips for healthy eating during the holidays.
Eat Regular Meals
Skipping meals to save calories for a feast later might be tempting but this is likely to backfire. It’s more difficult to resist a tray of goodies at work when your stomach is growling. Regular, balanced meals with larger portions of non-starchy vegetables and smaller portions of whole grains and healthy proteins will help keep cravings at bay.
Enjoy the Meal, Skip the Grazing
Dishes of candy, trays of appetizers, and high calorie beverages are hard to miss at most holiday gatherings. A handful here and a sip there can really add up, and often without even realizing you’ve eaten anything! To eat more mindfully rather than grazing, try to eat from a plate or bowl rather than right out of the serving dish and try choosing foods that require silverware rather than finger foods. Follow up caloric beverages like sodas and alcohol with a glass of water.
Pick Your Favorites
When faced with a buffet, thoroughly scan the options before dishing up and choose your favorite things. If you've finished and you're still hungry, go ahead and try some of the other foods in small amounts.
Start with Smaller Portions
Research shows that we tend to clean our plate- whether we're hungry or not. Starting with half your normal portion and making a mindful decision to have seconds will likely lead to eating less overall.
Relax and Enjoy
Don’t let fear of “breaking the rules” keep you from enjoying the season. Be present, eat mindfully, and enjoy the time celebrating with loved ones.