Healthy eating Holiday

The approaching holidays are an exciting time of year! What’s better than making memories with friends and family? Holiday parties, big or small, can also be a time of indulgence, getting the best of our healthy eating habits. Making a plan ahead of time with some of the following holiday eating tips will ensure you are a healthy, conscious eater this holiday season avoiding any extra weight gain!

Be realistic!! It’s not likely you will lose weight during the holidays, aim to maintain your weight. Schedule workouts in and remain active. Host holiday get togethers that are not food focused, try making crafts or collecting canned goods instead.

Try not to nibble if you are preparing food, all of those bites add up! Also, try new, lighter renditions of old family favorites. If you aren’t cooking, offer to bring a dish and make sure it’s something healthy you can fill up on without the guilt.

Enjoying a healthy snack before a party will satisfy your hunger and allow you to plan and eat healthy. Along with your regular exercise, trying boosting your metabolism with a post-meal walk around the neighborhood or beach.

Decorate with BLUE! Although it’s not a traditional holiday color, we are near the ocean and could take advantage of the fact blue functions as an appetite suppressant. Use blue plates, napkins or a blue tablecloth!

Go Small!! The smaller plate you choose, the smaller portions you will eat. Instead of using huge, 10-14 inch dishes, opt for a smaller, salad plate that is 7-9 inches. Use the same strategy for liquids, no need to fill up a 16 ounce glass or huge coffee mug. Try enjoying your beverage in a traditional 8 ounce glass or 6 ounce coffee mug!

Prioritize!! At a party, choose a few special menu items that are worth indulging in and avoid those that aren’t that important to you. At the office or off time, you will have to pass up some holiday yumminess here or there, we just can’t eat everything, every time!

Stock your plate with veggies, fruits and other healthy fare, leaving a little room for the food you prioritized above. Eat your veggies first and savor the flavor of your specialties. A full plate won’t draw attention like an empty plate will, and you deserve to eat and enjoy everyone’s company!

Be mindful of alcohol consumption as it can lead to poor food choices and it slows down your metabolism. Try saluting with seltzer water, lemon water (which has been shown to fight hunger cravings) or low-sugar juice mocktails!

And lastly: practice forgiveness!! If you overindulged in appetizers, the whole night is not a flop! Shake it off, enjoy and get back on track!

Image Credit: Benedicte Lechrist

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Cailin Goodier is a Licensed Clinician who has worked with mothers and families for over ten years. A graduate of UH Manoa's School of Social Work, she has worked for Imua Family Services and lead Stroller Strides Maui

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