Making healthy food choices at this time of the year is challenging. Holiday feasts. Office parties. Sweet treats and high-calorie goodies everywhere you turn. But thanks to the following smart strategies, you can enjoy all those occasions and still stay healthy and trim.
- Be realistic. Don’t plan to lose weight during the holidays. Focus on maintaining your current weight.
- Get moving. Exercise helps to relieve holiday stress and can help offset increased holiday eating.
- Plan ahead. Every holiday table features a wide variety of food so choose healthy foods first. Offer to make a healthy dish to share with family and friends.
- Eat before you feast. Avoid arriving at a party famished so you aren’t tempted to overeat. Eat something healthy beforehand, and drink one or two glasses of water to feel fuller.
- Avoid temptation. Position yourself far away from the buffet table, and focus on spending time with family and friends instead of the food.
- Change it up. Use ingredient substitutions to make your favorite recipes healthier. For example, ditch the fat in dips and dressings by using fat-free or low-fat yogurt instead.
- Stuff the turkey, not yourself. Sit down, relax, and enjoy smaller portions of your favorite holiday treats. Eat until you are satisfied — then stop.
If you do overindulge, get back on track the next day with lighter meals. Remember: It takes 500 calories a day (3,500 a week) above your normal consumption to gain a pound. Just something to think about when you’re tempted to overindulge.
Source: American Diabetes Association