Healthy Eating Throughout the Holidays
By Amanda Hindoian RD CD
Nov 22, 2016
Updated Nov 17, 2023
5 min read
Here are some tips for eating during the holidays this year:
Don’t skip meals during the day to save calories
Skipping meals during the holidays to “save” calories can backfire on you. It is best to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily. If we skip meals we tend to overeat at the next meal and are less likely to choose healthier foods. This might mean even grabbing a healthy high fiber snack before the party so you aren’t ravenous when arriving to your event where you will be more likely to overindulge. Having a glass of water or two before eating can help can help with fullness as well.
Bring a healthy dish with you to your party
Brining a healthy dish with you to the party can make it so you know you will at least have one healthy option at the event. This doesn’t have to be anything elaborate, it can be as simple as a fruit or vegetable tray.
Stick to the one plate rule (not one heaping plate!)
Sticking to the one plate rule means you have opportunity to try different foods but don’t get to go back for seconds or thirds. Try to fill ½ of your plate with vegetables, fruit, or green salad. Eating slower can help with only having one plate as it takes about 20 minutes for our brain to register that we have started to eat.
Take the focus off food and have fun
Remember that the holidays are about spending time with friends and family. Enjoy yourself but try and avoid the “eat and be merry” mentality around the holidays. Step away from the buffet table and focus on conversation and company of others, or go do a fun holiday activity with your loved ones that doesn’t involve food.
Avoid drinking liquid calories
We get more satisfaction/fullness from food versus liquid. Quench your thirst with low-calorie options, drink water with lemon or lime slices or have soda water with a splash of 100% juice. There are a lot of high calorie holiday drinks such as eggnog, hot chocolate, cider, and alcohol that contribute to our overall caloric intake. Just one cup of eggnog can have about 220 calories! Also avoiding alcohol or excess amounts can help as inhibitions with food can decreased and we can end up making less nutritious choices.