10 healthy holiday nutrition tips

Posted by Allie Wergin, R.D.N.
November 19, 2015

Holiday Meal

Holidays are usually enjoyable. However, unhealthy habits can be attached to the parties and gatherings. Here are 10 tips to help you have a healthier holiday:

1. Don’t skip meals. Skipping a meal with the goal of saving calories prior to a holiday event can often backfire and lead to overeating due to ravenous feelings of hunger. Having a filling snack, such as fruit, string cheese, yogurt or a small handful of nuts, can help to curb your appetite and prevent overeating.

2. Contribute a healthy dish. Ensure at least one nutritious choice is available at potlucks by contributing a healthy dish.

3. Choose your splurges. Scan the buffet or dinner table and choose a couple holiday favorites to splurge on instead of foods that you can have any other day of the year.

4. Think Color. Make a plate look festive by including fruits and veggies. Aim to cover half the plate.

5. Choose drinks wisely. Stick to calorie-free drinks, such as water, tea or seltzer, instead of high-calorie festive drinks. Alcoholic beverages contribute empty calories and can cause you to make poor judgments with food. If you do choose to drink alcohol, do so in moderation, and alternate each alcoholic drink with a glass of water.

6. Visit the people, not the food. Move socializing away from the buffet or appetizer table to prevent mindless eating.

7. Say no to food pushers (politely).

8. Savor seasonal treats. Having treats once a year will not make or break your weight. Make sure you take time to really taste and enjoy that special treat when you have it.

9. Eat until you are satisfied, not stuffed. No one likes that icky, stuffed feeling after a meal. Eat slowly, and check your fullness levels while you’re eating. Remember — there are always leftovers!

10. Don’t feel guilty. If you did overindulge, don’t beat yourself up. Just make sure your next meal is healthy, and be sure to incorporate exercise into your routine.

Allie Wergin is a registered dietitian nutritionist at Mayo Clinic Health System in New Prague.

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