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turkey and vegetable dinner

Realistic & Healthy Holiday Eating Tips

The holidays are a time to enjoy friends, family, and food. And contrary to popular belief, you can have all three without worrying about putting on extra pounds!

The secret…mindful preparation and mindful eating!

Don’t skip meals throughout the day.
This will likely result in overeating later. Eat balanced meals and snacks just like any other day, including breakfast! Research shows that those who eat this important morning meal tend to consume fewer calories throughout the day.

Include lots of fiber in your diet by eating fruits, vegetables, beans, legumes and whole grains.
High-fiber foods are high in volume and will satisfy hunger, but are lower in calories. Plus beans and legumes are easy on the food budget. Add lentils to soups, mix half black beans with half lean meat for tacos, add chickpeas to salads, snack on edamame beans and use hummus instead of mayo.

Choose a broth-based soup instead of a creamy soup.
When making soup, use a low-sodium broth and add lots of different vegetables, beans and spices. To make a thicker soup without the cream, puree vegetables such as cauliflower, squash or carrots. They create a velvety texture with a lot less calories.

Use a smaller plate.
Less room on your plate encourages proper portion sizes.

Start each meal by filling half your plate with fruits and vegetables.
If you wait until the end to add fruits and vegetables, you often run out of room.

Ask yourself is this food calorie worthy?
Does this food taste good enough for me to spend some of my calories on? Try not to fill your plate with everything just because it’s in the buffet line. And if Grandma’s apple pie is calorie worthy, enjoy a piece!

Eat slow and savor every bit. Give yourself a little time before going back for seconds.
Wait to see if you really are still hungry.

After eating, get in some physical activity!
Find a new bike trail, walk the neighborhood to look at holiday lights, go ice skating, or play a game with the kids.