Healthy Holiday Eating Strategies

According to the National Institute of Health, the average weight gain during the holidays is only about 1 pound. The problem is that most Americans don’t ever lose that pound of weight and it begins to add up over the years.

Don’t panic! It’s important to recognize that you can enjoy holiday foods, but you want to stay balanced in the meantime. You don’t have to be afraid with a few strategies in mind:

  1. Don’t work hard to diet and lose weight, instead try to
  2. Exercise to compensate for the extra calories you will be consuming, and to help relieve holiday stress. You will likely have to schedule this into your calendar with the busy holiday season.
  3. Don’t skip meals trying to “save up” for that big holiday meal. (This will contribute to ravenous hunger, causing you to overeat.)
  4. Limit your alcohol intake. A 12 oz. beer provides about 150 calories, a 5 oz. glass of wine provides about 125 calories, & a mixed drink can have as much as 500 calories per cup.
  5. Put your snacks & appetizers on a small plate instead of reaching straight into the bowl and limit your trips to the buffet.
  6. Take smaller bites and eat slowly. Try taking time to enjoy your food and the conversation with the people around you.
  7. Forget the “all-or-nothing” mindset. Instead, focus on “sometimes” and “for special occasions” to consume certain foods and beverages. Depriving yourself of special holiday foods isn’t a healthful eating strategy.
  8. Remember it is a holi-day, not a holi-WEEK! turkey dinner