The holidays are a wonderful time of the year. Family and friends gather around to reminisce on old memories and to create new ones. At the center of almost all holiday gatherings is food. Many individuals are concerned about overindulging during this time of the year. Although I am a dietitian that encourages an all foods fit approach, I understand the desire to have strategies in place to ensure a more balanced holiday season. Keep reading for some of my favorite tips regarding nutrition during the holidays.
Disclosure: this post was created in partnership with Nature Nate‘s Honey Co. and I am being compensated monetarily; however, all opinions expressed are my own, and I only partner with brands that I personally use. Thank you for your support!
Eat Regular Meals
One mistake many make during the holidays is skipping breakfast or lunch to “save up” calories for later in the day. This plan can easily backfire. Without regular meals earlier in the day, you’re more likely to overeat later on. Strive to stick to a regular day of balanced meals before, or after, your holiday gathering.
Start off the party by eating fiber rich foods you enjoy. Think dishes that highlight fruits and vegetables, such as veggie and fruit trays, salads, etc. Fiber rich foods before a meal can increase fullness, satisfaction, and blood sugar control. Whether I am a guest or host of a holiday gathering, I always try to provide a fiber rich dish for this reason. My Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad with Apples and Walnuts and Hot Honey Ricotta Stuffed Dates are two options guaranteed to impress your friends and family, while also providing a dose of fiber.
When building your plate, start with small portions and eat slowly. Remember, you can always go back for seconds! I personally struggle with putting too much on my plate at first, then feeling like I need to eat it all. This tip is especially helpful to me and controlling portion sizes.
Add In Movement
Before, during, or after your holiday event, try adding in some movement you enjoy. Even better, get your friends and family involved! Encourage a friendly game of flag football, fun holiday 5ks, or a simple walk around the block if the weather is nice. Physical activity aids in digestion, weight management, and stress reduction. Let’s be honest, the holidays can be pretty stressful!
Do not forget to enjoy the holidays and try not to focus on how “bad” you ate or how many desserts you tried. Holiday gatherings are all about being together and enjoying good food. A few days out of the year will not ruin your healthy journey, especially with habits like these in place!