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Marie Cascarano
Nov 14, 2018

Healthy Eating During the Holidays

Nov 14, 2018 by Marie Cascarano

by laura infield

That time of year is fast approaching- holiday season! With all the amazing options during the holidays, it’s easy to overindulge (guilty of it myself, pumpkin pie is my weakness). Here are some tips and tricks I’ve learned for enjoying yourself at holiday meals, in a delicious and healthy way.

  1. Load up on veggies, and eat them first- With all the different options in front of us, veggies may not be the first thing you want. However veggies are a delicious option full of vitamins and minerals, that leave you feeling full longer, which can help to avoid overeating. There are a ton of holiday veggie recipes online, so find one that you’ll really enjoy!
  2. Take your time- Since I’m such a food enthusiast, I get really excited to see a table full of delicious food, so I have to hold myself back from eating everything in sight. Remember to pace yourself and enjoy what you’re eating. It takes our brains 20+ minutes to get the signal that we’re actually full. By eating slower and really enjoying your food, you’re more likely to take your time, and stop when you’ve had enough to eat.
  3. Eat what you love- It’s very tempting to eat food simply because it is right in front of us, especially when there are so many more options during the holidays. Keep in mind the foods you really love and want to enjoy, and skip foods you’re so-so about.
  4. Ask yourself “am I still enjoying this?” This one really ties into eating day-to-day, not just special occasion meals such as Thanksgiving or Christmas. If you have a feeling you’re overeating, ask yourself "am I eating because it’s right in front of me?” If you’re not sure or the answer is no, take a little break, let your stomach settle, and reevaluate after some time has passed. You can always stick leftovers in the fridge and come back to them at a later time (after all, best part of the holidays is all the leftovers, right?)
  5. Don’t skip meals- I’m guilty of this in the past, especially during the holidays when it is typical to have larger meals later in the day. I would skip breakfast or lunch or wait for the big holiday feast later that afternoon/ early evening. The problem with this is that by the time you get to the table, you’re starving, because you haven’t given your body proper fuels all day. Restricting yourself during the day can lead to overeating. Try having a fiber rich breakfast in the morning (fiber keeps you feeling full longer) such as oatmeal with berries, whole grain toast with some nuts or fruit on top, or an avocado egg scramble with some veggies.
  6. Mindful dessert eating- When I think of the holidays, I immediately picture all the delicious dessert options (yes I’m still thinking of the pumpkin pie). Between cookies, pies, ice cream, pastries, etc., it is easy to want to eat everything on the table, and send ourselves into full blown sugar coma. Do enjoy those desserts! If you want to try a variety (or all) of the desserts, try small samples of each- that way you’re still getting the satisfaction of eating dessert, and you’re able to taste more of them, just in smaller amounts.
  7. Lose the guilt- After all, it is the holidays, so relax and enjoy. Making healthy choices during the holidays can sometimes be frustrating, however don’t stress about it too much. If you do overeat at a holiday dinner, don’t beat yourself up.  Just resume a more mindful way of eating at your next meal.