For a lot of us, especially in America, the holidays mean a lot of food. Even if your get-togethers this year are smaller than usual, there will likely still be too much food at each one. And, it can be hard to stop yourself from overdoing it. Keep reading to learn nine tips for eating healthy during the holidays this year.
1. Don’t skip meals
It can be tempting to skip breakfast and lunch leading up to Thanksgiving dinner or a Christmas feast. But, skipping meals tends to lead to overeating because you’re so hungry by the time you do eat that you just can’t help yourself. You can prevent this by eating breakfast and lunch as usual.
2. Eat smaller portions
Holidays tend to include second or even third helpings. And, if your family is anything like mine, you might even have multiple (big) meals throughout the day. On Thanksgiving, we have lunch with my father-in-law’s family, a midday meal with my parents, and dinner with my mother-in-law’s family.
You can stop yourself from overeating by having smaller portions throughout the day. One trick for doing this is by using a smaller plate. You’ll be able to enjoy all of your favorite holiday foods without trying to eat everything on a full-sized dinner plate.
3. Wait before going back for seconds
There’s a good chance that your holiday meals contain a lot of side dishes that you don’t get throughout the year. Because of that, it’s tempting to want to eat multiple servings of your mom’s sweet potato casserole or your grandma’s pumpkin pie. Instead of rushing to fill your plate with a second helping, wait at least 10-20 minutes. This will give your brain time to tell if you’re still hungry.
4. Eat slower
You can slow down by savoring every flavor and putting down your fork between bites. By taking your time, you’ll realize when you’re full, instead of overeating. It’s okay if you don’t join the clean plate club!
5. Fill up on fruits and vegetables
When you’re first filling your plate, start with fruits, vegetables, and salads before adding fatty meats and your favorite side dishes. You’ll still get to eat all those delicious foods but will eat fewer calories.
By filling up on healthier, more nutritious options, it will also be easier for you to resist those high-calorie casseroles and resist that second piece of pie.
If you’re worried that there won’t be many healthy options, offer to bring something. It will not only ensure you have less caloric things to put on your plate but will also lessen how much the host has to do.
Listen: Easy Thanksgiving Recipes
6. Limit your alcohol intake
Since a lot of holiday parties involve alcohol, it’s easy to overindulge when you always have a drink in your hand. Alternate your alcoholic drinks with non-alcoholic beverages, like water or diet soda. It will quench your thirst and give you something to do with your hands while you’re standing around talking.
7. Socialize away from the food
Everyone seems to congregate in the kitchen, which makes it way too easy to snack and keep eating. Try to chat with friends and relatives away from the food by going to the living room or backyard.
8. Get active after you eat
After you’ve eaten your fill, get moving by going for a walk or playing a game of touch football. Not only will it take some of the focus off food, but it will also help you burn calories.
9. Ditch the guilt
Even after doing everything you can to prevent overeating during the holidays, it might still happen. If it does, don’t beat yourself up over it because it won’t do anything but prevent you from enjoying the season. If you go overboard, just try to get back to your regular, healthy eating habits as soon as you can.