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Handling Holiday Eating

Published in Lifestyle Health, Weight Management, For the Health of It, Healthy Eating Tips Author: Haleigh Storkel, RD LD, BS, Lifestyle Health

The holidays are always full of delicious food. The endless food options can make it difficult to stay on track with your healthy eating. Did you know that the average person gains one pound over the holiday season and weight gained over the holidays tends to be harder to lose? The following tips and tricks will help keep you on track and avoid unwanted holiday gain.

1. Have a Plan

  • Think about what’s ahead with social activities
  • Focus on friends and family — not food
  • Bring your own healthy side to ensure that there is some lighter options for you
  • Get your exercise in before going

2. Don’t Skip Meals

  • Eat normally on the day of a party — people who skip meals to save up calories tend to overeat
  • Eating sensibly throughout the day will take the edge off your appetite
  • Before leaving for a party, eating a light snack like raw veggies or some protein to curb your appetite

3. Change Behaviors

  • Engage in conversation to slow the pace of eating
  • Excuse yourself from the dinner table once you’ve had enough to eat
  • Chew gum or sip on hot tea to reduce desire to nibble

4. Be a Food Snob

  • If you don’t love it, don’t eat it
  • Scan the buffet for foods you really enjoy and skip the everyday dishes
  • Don’t feel obligated to be part of the clean plate club — when you feel full, stop eating

5. Lighten Up Beverages

  • Cut serving sizes. Pour your beverage into a champagne flute instead of a regular glass or serve hot beverages in a shot glass for a fun display and to save on calories!
  • Hydrate with water. Sip on water between alcoholic beverages or try sparkling water and add fruit for a burst of flavor.
  • Nix the alcohol and extras. Ordering your favorite drink virgin can save you up to 100 calories. Skip the whipped cream, chocolate sauce, sprinkles and candy canes that are used as garnishes.

6. Take the Focus Off Food

  • Turn candy and cookie making time into non-edible projects like making wreaths, gingerbread houses or holiday decorations
  • Plan group activities with family and friends such as serving a holiday meal to the community, playing games or going ice skating