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  • Writer's pictureMaya Hickman MS, RDN

Five Tips For Enjoying a Healthier Holiday

Updated: May 13, 2020

According to research, we gain about one to two pounds during the holidays, which can add up over the years. Here are a few tips to help you have a healthier holiday:

1. Watch your portion size. Holiday meals tend to be large, with multiple courses, variety of desserts and beverages. It is okay to try a few different things, but make sure your portions are small. It can be helpful to use a smaller plate and fill a half of it with lower calorie choices (vegetables, salads, fruit).

2. Avoid overeating. Turkey, casseroles, ham, pies and other holiday treats are not something most of us eat very often. Scan the dinner table and choose a couple of your favorites to splurge on. Stop when you are satisfied, not stuffed. Eat slowly and wait for 10 minutes before going for seconds to make sure you are still hungry. Holidays are to be enjoyed, not something you want to pay for with abdominal discomfort the day after.

3. Don’t skip meals. It is tempting to skip breakfast in preparation for the big holiday feast. This strategy is likely to backfire, as you will be more prone to overeating. Eat a healthy breakfast or at least a snack consisting of nuts, cheese, yogurt, whole grain toast or granola.

4. Bring a healthy dish to a family gathering/holiday party. By contributing at least one healthy meal (a colorful salad is a good choice) you can ensure at least one nutritious choice will be available.

5. Chose your drinks carefully. Your best choices are of course water, seltzer, and unsweetened tea. Try to stay away from sodas and sweetened juices, which easily add up quite a few empty calories. If you chose an alcoholic beverage, hard seltzers are a great low calorie, low sugar options. Light beers have fewer calories than dark beers, and adding some seltzer water to your wine will take away a few calories and create a tasty holiday spritzer! Make sure to hydrate, and have a glass of water in between alcoholic drinks.

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