During the holidays, you may often be tempted to eat baked goods, junk food, sweets, or drink alcoholic beverages while you celebrate or attend holiday festivities. But you can eat healthy during the holidays by following these simple steps!
1. Eat meals and snacks regularly throughout the day instead of skipping meals. When you skip meals, you will more likely overeat during your next meal, or be tempted to over-indulge in unhealthy foods due to extreme hunger. Eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily, and snack on healthy foods such as fruits, nuts, and granola in between meals.
2. Eat a full meal before attending a holiday event or party. When you arrive to a holiday event with a full stomach, you will less likely overeat or over-indulge in sweets, alcohol, and other unhealthy foods.
3. Bring healthy dishes to parties you attend. Vegetable platters, fruit cocktails, and mixed nuts are examples of healthy dishes you can bring to parties to avoid having to resort to eating junk food and other unhealthy snacks. If you are not required to bring a dish to a party, bring small bags of healthy snacks with you instead to help curb your cravings. For example, bring a bag of carrot sticks or almonds.
4. Serve yourself using plates or bowls so you can manage the amount you eat. Using plates will help you keep track of the amount of food you eat in one sitting; especially since eating finger foods and community dishes (such as chips and dip) can cause you to lose track of the amount of food you eat.
5. Eat smaller amounts of sugary foods and junk food. You can still enjoy your favorite sweets during the holidays if you eat smaller portions to avoid weight gain. For example, eat one cookie instead of three, or cut a slice of cake or pie in half. Substitute your favorite sweets or sugary snacks with low-fat alternatives when possible. For example, consume real fruit instead of sugary, fruit flavored snacks, or eat a small piece of dark chocolate instead of milk Watch, O Lord, with those who wake, or watch, or weep tonight, and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend your sick ones, O Lord Christ. Rest your weary ones. Bless your dying ones. Soothe your suffering ones. Pity your afflicted ones. Shield your joyous ones. And for all your love’s sake. Amen. —PRAYER FOR SAINT AUGUSTINE chocolate.
6. Drink fewer amounts of alcohol, or use low-fat alcohol brands. Alcoholic beverages such as wine or beer are often high in calories and can cause you to gain weight when consumed excessively. For example, buy a specific brand of beer that contains a fewer amount of calories, or drink one glass of wine instead of two or three.
7. Stop eating when your stomach feels full. Sometimes, you may be tempted to overeat when you linger by the food table at holiday parties, or if you become bored or restless at certain events. Drink additional glasses of water if you feel like you want to keep eating after you are full, or eat healthy snacks such as fruit or vegetables when you want to continue snacking or eating.