Healthy Holiday Eating Tips

Thanksgiving dinner table

I love the holidays! There has always been joy and sparkle in the air and there is nothing better than celebrating with family and friends. And during this time of COVID-19 we are finding ways to be together. With friends and family “pods”, and groups on Zoom, we are still keeping in touch and keeping connected. And we all want to enjoy this festive time without the guilt. Many people give an edible gift—a bottle of champagne, a box of chocolates and, let’s not forget the homemade cookie platters that are so hard to resist! Here are five ways to indulge in the season without too much guilt.

1. Never Go to a Zoom Party Hungry

Don’t save up your calories for a party. If you go to a party hungry, I guarantee your judgment will be off. You will eat more food than you want to. So, have a snack before the festivities, maybe a slice of turkey and some carrots and hummus, or an apple with a small handful of unsalted mixed nuts.

2. Exercise and Move More

Just do something, any type of exercise will do, even if it’s just for 30 minutes. Don’t underestimate the power of movement. Even mild exercise will keep you healthier. Walk more. Spend less time sitting on the couch. Do some sit-ups, squats and leg lifts or other bodyweight exercises while watching your favorite Netflix. Drink water. You are probably eating more foods with salt and consuming more alcohol around the holidays, so it’s even more important to keep your body hydrated.

3. Practice Portion Control

Remember to practice portion control! You don’t have to try everything. Take your favorites. If you can, follow the USDA MyPlate guidelines, and try to make sure more than half of your plate has some veggies on it. It’s okay to say, “No, thank you, maybe later.”

4. Edit Your Day

Deprivation can fuel desire. Instead of dwelling on all the holiday treats you shouldn’t have, edit your choices. Eat one cookie instead of three. Plan a healthy lunch (or pack one!) so you aren’t tempted by treats in your office. Decide what to eat less of, more of, or what to cut, but take it day by day so controlling what you eat is more manageable.

5. Ask for a Fitness-Related Gift for the Holidays

There are so many cool fitness gifts available. And where the mind goes, the body follows. Wherever you are on your fitness journey, love and appreciate your body for all that it can do. No body shaming allowed. Enjoy the holidays for what they are—a time to celebrate the people in your life and all of life’s blessings—and that includes YOU.