Live Your Health Blog: Healthy Eating and the Holidays
In 2010, after completing a rigorous application and site review process by Meals On Wheels America, we were awarded “Exemplary Status” Magnet Accreditation for our outstanding senior nutrition program.
The Halloween candy is gone and you finally polished off all of those Thanksgiving leftovers. Meet December: cookies, parties, more food and drinks!
How does one eat healthy or at least not totally fall off of the health wagon? Here are some tips to stay on track while still making the most of your holiday season.
Take advantage of being “off schedule” and practice some mindfulness. Pay attention to when you are hungry and when you are full. Rather than eating when the clock tells you it’s time to eat, eat when your stomach tells you. Eat slowly and enjoy every bite of your food.
Don’t arrive on an empty stomach:
Don’t skip a meal so you can splurge at your event. You may end up eating more calories by skipping a meal. Drink plenty of water before your party, and have a light meal or healthy snack, such as a handful of nuts, a small sandwich, fruit, vegetables and dip, Greek yogurt, or a bowl of whole grain cereal or oatmeal.
Bring a healthy dish:
Bring a healthy dish. Fill your plate with a larger portion of your healthy dish and take smaller portions of the unhealthy dishes.
Make your plate colorful:
“Eat the rainbow” by loading your plate with foods from the fruit and vegetable trays.
Every minute of physical activity you can do is better than none. Take the stairs, park at the back of the parking lot, go for a walk after your party or meal, and keep moving as much as possible during your busy holiday season.
Focus on the people, not the food:
Spend more time talking to your family, friends, and co-workers. Keep yourself as far away from the buffet table as you can while chatting.
Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages can be full of sugar and empty calories. Practice moderation, sip slowly, and drink a full glass of water after each calorie laden beverage.
Of course, food is part of many celebrations, and it’s okay to indulge a little. Enjoy holiday treats in smaller portions, and follow the tips above for a healthy and happy holiday!
Hayley Daubert is a registered and licensed dietitian and nutritionist who consults with Meals On Wheels of Northampton County and other organizations. For more information, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.