Festive Season - Healthy Eating Tips for the Holidays

Festive Season - Healthy Eating Tips for the Holidays

1. First, ditch the stretchy pants.

Leggings are the oldest holiday trick in the book. That way you'd feel more comfortable about overeating, since the bottoms will expand with your, well, bottom. The best advice is to try not to do this. Instead, opt for clothes you would wear any other day of the week. If your belt buckle seems to get progressively tighter as the night goes on, it may be a sign to slow it down and take a walk.

2. Pick protein.

Like we just mentioned, protein can help maintain a healthy weight because high-protein diets are associated with greater satiety (bonus benefit: It’s important for healthy muscle growth). Make sure to serve up some turkey, roasted chicken, or prepare animal-free alternatives like quinoa, lentils, or beans.

3. Eat and chew slowly.

Eating slowly may not be easy when appetizer options are endless, but it pays off to pace yourself. The quicker we eat, the less time the body has to register fullness. So slow down and take a second to savor each bite of baked brie or scoop of spiced nuts.

4. Fill up on fiber.

Snacking on vegetables and other high-fiber items like legumes can help keep us fuller, longer (though there’s always space for dessert). Give the vegetable platter a second chance with a healthy, tasty dip.

5. Just say no.

Though your relatives may encourage overeating by shoving seconds onto a cleaned plate, it’s OK to respectfully decline. “I’m full” or “I’m taking a break” should be enough for friends and family members to back off (and give you time to decide if you’d really like more).

6. Chew gum.

Studies have conflicting results on whether chewing gum will actually help curb your appetite and lead to weight loss in the long run. However, in the short-term, chewing can keep you busy when socializing amongst a sea of hor d’ouevres or when you're full but still eyeing a second plate of dessert.

7. Eat what you love.

Most of us find it extremely easy to eat something just because it's there. Try to be picky at your holiday dinner. Focus on only eating the foods you absolutely love, and skip the foods you are meh about. Also, don't eat something just because it's a holiday food—if eggnog doesn't excite you, skip it.

8. Gulp H2O

Drinking water helps people feel full, and as a result consume fewer calories. Rather than guzzling calorie- and sugar-laden sodas and juices (which are associated with increased body fat and blood pressure) treat yourself to a glass of wine with dinner and keep your allegiance to water for the rest of the day.

9. Stay active.

Exercise is just as important during the holidays as any other time of the year. You should be active at least four to five times a week, preferably with some aerobic exercise every day. The weather may be cold outside, but the winter offers additional fun, too! Ice skating, sledding, snow sprints — all of these can be great exercise. Enlist your loved ones to join you for quality bonding time.

10. Manage stress.
The holidays don’t need to take a toll on your health. Keep a check on over-commitment and over-spending. Balance work, home, and play. Get support from family and friends. Keep a relaxed and positive outlook. Get enough sleep.