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6 healthy eating strategies for the holidays

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Follow these tips and tricks for healthy eating during the holiday season.

Follow these tips and tricks for healthy eating during the holiday season.

The holidays will be here before you know it. That means spending quality time with family and close friends, exchanging gifts and consuming more calories than you’d like to admit. In fact, a study by the Calorie Control Council found that the average American eat an alarming 4,500 calories-worth of food on Thanksgiving alone.

But how do you avoid overindulging? Believe it or not, it is possible – it just takes planning. Here are six tips for keeping up with your healthy eating habits during the holiday season:

1. Eat a snack before the party
Instead of showing up to grandma’s house on an empty stomach, The Huffington Post suggested eating a small snack beforehand. Choose options that’ll satisfy your hunger without going overboard, like whole grain crackers or mixed nuts. That appetizer platter will look less tantalizing on a full stomach.

2. Be last in line for food
Most people like to be first in line for food, mostly because there’s something tempting about a flawless spread. But if you let everyone skip ahead of you, your chance of grabbing one too many dinner rolls is reduced and your calorie count will be shortened before you can even start eating.

3. Use a smaller plate
Instead of sticking with the normal 12-inch plate, opt for a salad or dessert plate. The smaller size can trick your mind – when it’s loaded, it’s still not holding nearly as much food as a full dinner-sized plate, This is a simple illusion that can help you cut back on the calories.

4. Be conscious of nutrition
The holidays would be nothing without tons of gravy, cheesy potatoes and pumpkin pie, but that doesn’t mean you should throw your healthy eating habits out the window. Be conscious of your portion sizes and be sure to make room for foods with nutritional value. Do your best to fill a plate with lean proteins, leafy greens and vegetables cooked without additional fatty ingredients.

5. Help take care of dishes
You’re more likely to pick around the food table if you have nothing better to do after dinner. But there’s a simple solution to that – just offer to help with dishes! You’ll receive thanks and appreciation all while cutting back those calories you would’ve consumed otherwise.

6. Stick to one dessert
Sure, your grandma has the dessert table fully stocked, but that doesn’t mean you have to take one of everything. If you’re going to spend any calories on dessert, make sure you choose wisely. Real Simple magazine suggested picking one unique dish you can only get around the holidays and letting the typical treats fall by the wayside.

Remember: Snacking too late is bad for your digestion and overall health, so be sure to eat your last meal no later than two hours before bed. Keep track of time on your favorite BABY-G watch so you’ll be healthy as can be during the holiday season.

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