Practical Parenting Ideas: 10 Tips for Eating Healthily During the Holidays

Thursday, November 6, 2014

10 Tips for Eating Healthily During the Holidays

If you're like me you want to feel like you can splurge on holiday goodies, but then quickly regret over-eating when you feel awful. So how do you enjoy the celebrations and avoid gaining extra weight? With some thought and preparation you can cut calories without feeling deprived.

Credit: Free Digital Photos/tiramisustudio     
  1. Don't go to a party hungry: Avoid eating too fast and too much by eating a healthy snack or light meal before attending the party.
  2. Watch portions: Rather than depriving yourself of anything sweet, go for small portions. Sample the different foods and focus most on those that are healthy. Moderation is key.
  3. Limit high fat foods such as fried foods, cream-based soup, cheese-filled casseroles, pies, processed meats, pastries, and baked goods.
  4. Try low-fat eggnog: Purchase or make your own eggnog, ensuring it is low-fat. Opposed to traditional eggnog made of egg yolk and thick cream, there are a lot of healthier ways to have it.
  5. Drink water: Soda and juice are a lot higher in calories and will not keep you as hydrated. Drinking a large glass of water before a meal will also help you avoid over-eating.
  6. Keep healthy food accessible: Have healthy options easy to grab, such as pre-cut fresh fruits and vegetables,  low-fat yogurt, nuts, whole-wheat crackers, etc. to fill you up and lessen your cravings for sweets. If you're asked to bring a dish to a party, try a low-fat recipe.
  7. Choose low-fat when eating out: When eating out with family or friends try to look for healthier options on the menu. Most restaurants will have "light" or low-fat dishes. If you're going to a fast-food place try to get lean cuts of meat and substitute processed foods like fries with a side salad or fresh fruit.
  8. Take snacks along: When on-the-go running errands or shopping for the holidays, be sure to pack a healthy snack in your purse to avoid becoming too famished so that you over-eat upon returning home.
  9. Look for healthy substitutions: Use ingredients like skim or low-fat milk in recipes rather than heavy cream, use applesauce in the place of oil, or Greek yogurt instead of sour cream. This post on Pinterest has additional substitutions.
  10. Eat slowly and avoid social eating: Eating slowly will help your body realize when it's full and help you stop. Try to eat only when you're hungry rather than continuously just because the food is around.
In addition to eating healthily, be sure to take time to enjoy your friend's company while you work off some extra calories. Try to exercise with friend(s) on your same level of physical activity doing something you both enjoy. In the past I've found if I have a friend relying on me to exercise I'm more likely to get out and actually do it.

Have more ideas for how to eat healthy during the holidays? Feel free to share in the comments below!
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