There always seems to be a heavy dusting of guilt and shame going on as the holidays roll around each year. Between Thanksgiving being a holiday devoted solely to food, and all the holiday parties that pop up during the Christmas season, many people seem to think there are only two options—ignoring all the tasty food and trying to eat healthy, or forgetting about healthy eating and indulging completely.
The truth is, as Hannah Montana once said, you can have the best of both worlds. He. She is being It’s possible to enjoy all the holiday season has to offer and stay healthy through the process. It’s all about establishing healthy eating habits during the holidays that will leave you feeling satisfied and comfortable in your body – rather than overeating and feeling dizzy.
We spoke with dietitians to identify some healthy eating habits you can adopt that will make you feel your best while still enjoying all the fun that the holiday season brings! Then, for some inspiration on healthy eating, check out our list of the 100 easiest recipes to make.
Instead of focusing on negative self-talk — such as trying to “avoid” certain foods — find positive ways to eat your meals that make you feel healthy in the process.
“Think about what you can add to your eating plan instead of what you should take,” says Lisa Young, PhD, RDN, author of Finally full, finally skinnyand a member of our Medical Expert Council. “For example, by staying positive and focusing on adding more healthy products, you may not want to eat junk food anymore.”
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instead of your saying I can not You have something, so why not factor it into an overall eating plan that you can feel good about?
says Amy Judson, MS, RD, CSSD, LD, author sports nutrition book And a member of our Medical Expert Council. “The 80/20 rule can help you maintain some balance in your vacation routine while still enjoying what you love. The goal is to fill up on 80% of nutrient-dense foods. This includes high-fiber carbohydrates, lean proteins, healthy fats, dairy, and fruits.” And vegetables. And don’t forget to exercise routine too! Then 20% of the time it trumps those comfort foods and satisfying desserts that only come once a year. If most of the time you’re feeding your body with nutrient-rich foods, the 20% likely won’t have the same effect. .”
“Before I go to a party or holiday event, I enjoy a snack so I’m not ravenous when I arrive,” Young says. “I might have a bowl of vegetable soup, hummus and veggies, or a handful of nuts and a piece of fruit to cuddle up to. I leave room to enjoy holiday foods, but I never arrive so hungry that I can eat anything — and everything — in sight.”
Or, stock up on these 25 best high-fiber snacks to buy that keep you full for a quick snack before heading off to a holiday party.
“One of the best ways to enjoy the festive season without overdoing it is to make sure your meals and snacks contain a good source of fiber and protein to keep you satisfied,” says Medical Expert Tami. Lakatos Shames, RDN, CDN, CFT, Lyssie Lakatos, RDN, CDN, CFT, also known as The Nutrition Twins. “This way, you will be less likely to overeat and it will be easier to monitor portions when you go enjoying the unhealthy holidays.”
Says Kim Rose, RD of Lose It! “Never underestimate the power of chopped veggies, whole-wheat crackers, and a high-fiber dip.” “Not only do these specific foods contain vitamins and minerals, but these foods are also rich in fibre. Fiber can help you stay full for a longer period of time. Also, it can reduce your appetite, which also lowers your calorie intake.”
“We recommend pistachios as a snack because they are crunchy, fun foods and a good source of fiber, complete plant protein (providing all nine essential amino acids) and “good” monounsaturated fats for three nutrients that may help you feel fuller for longer, says The Nutrition Twins.
“One of the best ways to enjoy your favorite holiday foods without letting them take advantage of you is to decide in advance which of your favorite foods and drinks you’ll enjoy, and where you’ll draw when it comes to the portion you’re going to have,” say The Nutrition Twins. “When there’s no set limit, it’s very easy to keep saying, ‘I’ll get another one. “
“Yes, you can eat dessert, and yes you can enjoy starch,” Young says. “Just pick your favorite genre and enjoy it. Instead of banning candy altogether, when faced with a diverse assortment, pick the one you like the most and enjoy.”
“When you set a limit in advance, you can fully appreciate your favorite indulgences and are more likely to savor them,” says The Nutrition Twins. “And after you’ve had the pre-selected portion, you know you’re done with it, and you haven’t deprived yourself of your favorite foods. That way you can also enjoy the holidays without feeling overwhelmed or regretful.”
Drinking water throughout the day can be helpful in keeping your body hydrated and healthy when making decisions about what to put on your plate.
Did you know that many people tend to confuse thirst with hunger? asks Rose. “When this happens, it’s common to eat an extra serving of filling or cookies. And if you’re not vigilant, all those calories can build up. Instead, try drinking a bottle of water before eating anything.”
Plus, if you’re not drinking enough, here’s what happens to your body when you stop drinking water.
You can enjoy absolutely all the foods you love—just make sure you portion them out and prepare your plate for success.
“Access control is a vital part of reaching your weight goals,” Rose says. “The amount of food that ends up on your plate and the portion of food you actually eat is important to note. It’s easy to eat a portion or two too much, especially when we’re not practicing mindful eating.”
Rose says that recording your meals and snacks in an app like Lose It! It can be helpful for staying on track throughout the day and keeping an eye on your portions, while still enjoying all the holiday foods you love.
For more holiday tips, read the following: