It’s easy to get swept up in the indulgence of the season. With all the cookies, pastries, appetizers, alcohol, cheese and crackers, dips, rich sauces… need I go on? A certain amount of indulgence is to be expected (and celebrated!) while toasting the holidays with your friends and family. Here are some tips on how to eat healthy around the holidays and to help you keep a nutritional balance that won’t sacrifice your participation or your health goals:
How to Eat Healthy Around the Holidays
Snacking and Meals
Try to eat something with protein and fiber every 2 hours, preferably some vegetables. These nutrients will keep you feeling satiated when you face a plate of goodies. Protein and vegetables also amp up your metabolism so your body is better prepared to metabolize the carbohydrates and fat we love to consume en masse this time of year.
If you can’t get your hands on some protein, have an apple an hour before you plan to eat at a party. New research shows that people who eat an apple before a meal or snack are likely to consumer 180 fewer calories.
Don’t skip meals in order to arrive hungry to an “in-between time” party. Those 3 pm lunches and 6 pm cocktails parties can prime you to arrive ravenous if you skip lunch or forgo dinner beforehand.
There are sweets aplenty during the holiday season. If you know you’re going to be overdosing on sugar in the form of pie, Christmas cookies, chocolate-marzipan, or whatever your particular weakness is, Haylie Pomroy, Celebrity Nutritionist, recommends eating complex carbohydrates in the form of whole grains and natural sugars in the form of fruit throughout the day to elevate your natural blood sugar level healthfully so the sugar binge doesn’t shock your system.
If you tend to consume more alcohol than usual this time of year, take extra care of your liver by eating liver-supportive foods such as dark leafy greens and beets. Fresh juices with either or both are great for liver detox the day following a party.
It’s difficult to keep up with an exercise routine when our schedules are packed with shopping and socializing. If you find yourself missing your runs, yoga classes, and strength-training sessions, keep moving by taking the stairs instead of the elevator, intentionally parking further and walking the rest of the way to your destination (especially helpful in parking lots during the holidays), taking a family nature walk after a big meal, and, of course, playing in the snow.
Have Happy & Healthy Holidays!