We all look forward to the holidays, especially indulging in tasty treats and decadent meals. While we don’t mean to outdo ourselves on festive feasts, holiday healthy eating can still be a challenge. However, with a few tips and tricks, anyone can enjoy fantastic meals without worrying about overindulging.
How Can I Eat Healthy During the Holidays?
If you find yourself wondering how to eat healthy through the holidays, you are not alone! Even the most diligent healthy eaters can find it challenging to maintain good habits during the holidays. Luckily, there are plenty of easy ways to ensure that you stay on your wellness track without feeling like you missed out.
1. Look for Healthy Substitutions
Eating healthy during the holidays doesn’t mean depriving yourself of seasonal favorites. There are plenty of ways to pull back on the calories without sacrificing flavors. Something as simple as using less butter in your mashed potatoes, baking the turkey instead of frying, or even steaming your vegetable side dishes can help you eat healthier.
2. Chose Judiciously
Holiday feasts have an abundance of food to choose from: cakes, pies, a variety of proteins, starchy sides, stuffing, gravy, appetizers, and more! Instead of piling your plate with every item, pick and choose your must-haves, and stick with those.
3. Think About Portion Control
Portion control helps avoid eating too much during the holidays. Start with a small plate so that you can’t overload on food. Also, try eating various, smaller meals throughout the day, instead of one or two large ones.
4. Start with Veggies
Vegetables, when prepared without excess fats, are heart-healthy and packed with nutrients. Begin your mealtime with a helping of vegetables or a hearty salad. Not only will you boost your vitamin and mineral intake, but you might also fill up more on good-for-you foods first.
5. Take Your Time
Slowing down when eating your holiday meal is a great step in listening to your body to tell when you feel full. Our appetites are regulated by the hormone ghrelin, which is responsible for controlling hunger and telling our systems when we are full. The whole process takes about 20 minutes, so the longer it takes us to eat our meal the more time our body has to recognize it is full.
6. Hold Off on Seconds
Going for a round of seconds is as expected during the holidays as pumpkin pie. However, immediately going for another plate of food could mean your body hasn’t adjusted to feeling full. Give yourself a bit of time then see if you really want that extra plate of food.
7. Don’t Show Up Hungry
We all know the old saying, ”My eyes are bigger than my stomach.” Well, that seems doubly true if your stomach is empty. Extreme hunger can trigger us to eat faster, which interferes with our fullness hormones. An empty stomach can cause us to overeat, as well. Enjoy some healthy snacks before the family party so you aren’t tempted to overdo it.
8. Walk it Off
Boost your metabolism, and reap health benefits with a leisurely stroll after dinner. A quick walk can help reduce blood sugar, can reduce stress, and aids in digestion.
Learn More Healthy Lifestyle Habits at NWPC
Part of achieving a healthy lifestyle involves regular check-ups with your primary care physician. At NWPC, our practitioners perform routine wellness checks, offer resources for weight loss and nutritional habits, and more. No matter what your medical needs, we are here to help! We accept patients at all our Portland locations. Contact us to schedule an in-person or telehealth appointment today!