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Healthier Holidays with these Five Tips

Healthier Holidays with these Five Tips

Plan to keep things consistent and stress free!

Is it possible to navigate the holidays and enjoy the indulgences of the season without sacrificing good nutrition?  Yes, it is (although not without effort). Without question, it’s the time of year when family gatherings, work outings and school parties have us maneuvering through treats upon treats including, candy cane-inspired party food loaded with more fat and sugar than the typical weeknight meal brings. 

We asked Melanie Marcus, Dole’s Registered Dietitian to weigh in and she says “You can, and should, enjoy family favorites throughout the holiday season because eliminating them completely is a losing battle.”  In fact, you can be successful in both enjoying annual favorites and progressing with your health goals with these few tips! 

Let us guide you through how to find balance: 

·       Stay consistent with meals leading up to the celebration.  In other words, don’t skip meals ahead of time!  It’s natural to think this strategy will help limit overall daily calories and intake, but it can also make you overeat when the time comes.  Instead, focus on lean proteins and nutrient dense vegetables such as dark leafy greens within balanced meals prior to your holiday party or meal.  This will keep you satisfied and prevent overeating. 

·       Plan to say yes!  Foods such as pumpkin pie and egg nog have their window of enjoyment each year.  For many, it just wouldn’t be the holidays without them!  So plan to enjoy them!  Create memories of making and enjoying a hot chocolate by the fire with family, while telling stories and laughing together.  Be mindful, savor these indulgences guilt free.  After all, avoiding foods like these all together can lead to overdoing it later. 

·       Keep hydration in mind!  We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again, often when you think you’re hungry, it’s actually thirst that is calling!  Stay hydrated with unsweetened and decaffeinated beverages which can ward off unwanted cravings. 

·       Create an eye-pleasing spread with fruits and vegetables! Not only should you enjoy how your food tastes, but how it looks is just as important for overall satisfaction!  Dress up your buffet or dining table with a beautiful edible centerpiece or start off your meal with a crudité that includes a plant forward spread

·       Reset when necessary.  It’s easy to let stress build up over the holidays.  With so much going on, it’s completely natural!  But instead of giving into opportunistic or stress eating, recharge with a quick walk, a chat with a friend or balanced snack that will fuel your mind and body for this busy time! 

Published December 1, 2022

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