healthy eating tips

Tips for Healthy Eating During The Holidays

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All of the wonderful holiday parties!  And all of the lovely desserts!

I remember going to a Christmas party 2 months after my wedding. One of my closest friends who is a physician and who cooks like a chef was catering the party. I was so excited to eat all of the amazing things she was going to make!

However, the morning of the party, I got nauseous. Stayed queasy all day. Stood at the party looking at all the appetizers, desserts, entrees — and all I could eat was dry pita chips.

Talk about disappointment!

I found out later that I was pregnant. Unfortunately, that nausea hung around for the entire holiday season. That was probably the only time I did not want to overindulge at any point during the holiday season

Holiday Healthy Eating Tips

The time from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day has to be the hardest few weeks to stick to a healthy eating lifestyle or any diet for that matter. We are constantly tempted by sweats, treats, and just way too much food in general. 

Here are a few tips (not including pregnancy) that can help you stay on track with your healthy eating between now and the end of the year.

1. Eat First, Party Later

Make sure you eat before you go to any holiday gathering. It’s inevitable that you’ll be tempted by all sorts of unhealthy but yummy foods. Make sure you don’t go overboard by eating something good for you before you go. Don’t be hungry when you arrive, or you’ll be much more tempted to overeat.

2. Manage Your Fluid Intake

Drink some water before you go to your function. Then you can alternate higher calorie drinks like alcoholic beverages, eggnog, or hot chocolate with water while you’re at the holiday party. Drinks can have a lot of hidden calories, so watch out. Diet sodas are another option if you like them.

3. Start with the Carrots or Other Healthier Choices

Fill your plate with some “good”– or better-for-you — foods first at the party. Start with some raw vegetables and go light on the dip. Turkey breast and lean ham or pork roast are other good options. Don’t forget a nice plate of salad with a low-fat dressing and some fresh fruit. 

I was going to write “for dessert” at the end of the previous sentence but most people are going to eat some dessert at these holiday parties. I’m just being realistic!

4. Moderate — Don’t Avoid — Your Dessert Intake

Don’t cut your favorite holiday treats completely out. If you don’t allow yourself the occasional small indulgence, you’ll be much more likely to break down and binge on all those cookies and treats. One key to healthy eating during the holidays is to enjoy small portions of your favorite foods. If you have a soft spot for decorated sugar cookies then go ahead and indulge, but limit yourself to one a day or every few days. Of course, the same applies if you prefer cheesecake or gingerbread men.

5. Don’t Starve in Preparation for the Holiday Feast

As often noted when discussing healthy eating, you should eat several small meals a day. This old tip holds especially true during the holiday season. We tend to skip meals and indulge in one large holiday dinner with the entire family. Don’t starve yourself all day. Get some snacks in and start your day with a good, healthy breakfast.

You’ll also be able to enjoy your holiday more by stabilizing your blood sugar. You don’t want to spend the day being grumpy from not eating for hours, or be the first ready for a nap after overeating.

6. Use the Mall to Burn a Few Calories

During the busy shopping season, you can burn some extra calories. At the mall, park a little further away, or take your time and do a round of window shopping throughout the mall before you buy. Every few extra steps count. However, don’t reward yourself afterward with food. For extra motivation to get more walking in, consider wearing a pedometer

7.  Relax

Take some time to relax and take care of yourself during the holidays. The holidays can be a very stressful season. Many of us (including myself) tend to overeat or medicate ourselves with food when stressed.

Work in some extra time just for you. Sit in front of the fire with a good book or your favorite magazine, go get your nails done, take a bath, or go for a walk. Do whatever works for you to calm you down and help you de-stress.

Above all, enjoy the holidays and remember they aren’t only about food but more importantly about family spending quality time together.  Have fun during this special time of the year and enjoy that occasional cookie.

This year, I might be able to indulge a little more at holiday parties because I don’t have the same dietary restrictions that I had before my kidney transplant.  This I am looking forward to. I guess I will need to print this list out and keep it with me at all times!

Have a great weekend!

Loving Life–The Reboot!


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This article provides general information and discussion about health and related subjects. The information and other content provided in this article, or in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice. Consult your own physician for any medical issues that you may be having.

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