Healthy Eating During the Holidays

Holiday dinner with family
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The holiday season is a time filled with parties, family gatherings, and lots of food, so it's easy to feel overwhelmed. But there's no need to feel like you must restrict or miss out on festivities for fear of overeating.

Don't Skip Meals

Many people believe that if they skip breakfast or lunch, they can save all those calories for the holiday party that night. That sounds like a good idea, but skipping meals can make you crabby and tired and maybe lead to a headache that just might ruin your evening festivities.

Try Eating Portioned Meals

Eat a bowl of whole grain cereal and low-fat milk for breakfast, a mid-morning snack of raisins and nuts, followed by a healthy lunch with a big salad or a sandwich made with whole grain bread will keep your body and brain fueled throughout the day.

Eat High-Fiber Foods Before the Party

When you have a party to attend, snack on some fiber-filled foods just before you go. Fiber helps you to feel full, and if you aren't feeling so hungry, you might not feel the need to go overboard at the party. Supplement with fresh foods where possible, such as a small salad, a plate of veggies, or a piece of fresh fruit.

Still Enjoy the Foods You Love

No one wants to feel deprived (and usually, this method backfires anyway!). So go ahead and help yourself to your favorite foods. If you modify the portions to be reasonable, you can still enjoy the foods you enjoy without stressing.

Mingle at the Party

Parties are for more than just food, so make sure you do your rounds of socializing and mingling throughout! This also gives your body a chance to process the foods you've been enjoying, and a chance for you to evaluate your fullness levels!

Pace Yourself

It takes a few minutes for your brain to realize your stomach is getting full, and you can eat a lot of extra food in those few minutes.

Set your fork down between bites and sip some water. Relax and enjoy the flavor of each mouthful. Chew each bite thoroughly before you swallow. Savor each moment with your friends, your family, and this wonderful food. Remember it's a meal, not a race to see who can eat the fastest.

Drink Plenty of Water

Many people believe that mild dehydration feels like hunger and the best way to avoid becoming dehydrated to drink plenty of water. You can also use water to slow down your eating by taking a sip or two between bites.

Drink a glass of water before you drink alcohol and in between drinks to slow down your alcohol consumption. 

Keep Healthy Snacks at Work

Try snacking on nuts, raisins, fresh fruit or energy bars instead so that your snack calories provide you with good nutrition.

A Word From Verywell

It's difficult to avoid overeating during the holidays. If you do slip up now and then, don't beat yourself up for it. Be kind to yourself. Remember that maintaining a healthy diet throughout the holidays takes practice. Forgive yourself and make sure your next meal or snack is a healthy one.

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