There is no doubt that eating healthy during the holidays is a challenge. For around six full weeks per year, we are exposed to a lot more foods and beverages than we typically are during the rest of the year. To make things more difficult, holiday food is delicious! The holidays can also be a very stressful and emotional time which leads to an increase in appetite and desire to eat high-calorie foods.
How can we enjoy traditional holiday foods while still taking care of our health? We can start by implementing some of the tips below.
Eat a minimum of three meals a day.
Eating three meals a day will help prevent excessive hunger during the day, help prevent food cravings and provide adequate energy to get through the busy days during the holidays.
Do not skip meals.
Skipping meals can lead to a dramatic increase in our hunger levels and can make it very challenging to practice portion control and have good judgement over food selections.
Do not deprive yourselves of your favorite foods.
But do practice portion control.
Listen to what your stomach tells you.
Our stomachs let us know when we feel just satisfied, very satisfied, full and overly stuffed. Try to stop eating when you feel either just satisfied or very satisfied.
Bring a healthy side dish to gatherings.
Some options include roasted brussels sprouts with balsamic vinegar or cauliflower mashed potatoes.
Avoid or limit alcoholic beverages.
Intake of alcohol can increase your appetite and often comes with a lot of added sugars and calories.
Avoid temptation when possible.
Be assertive when saying no to unhealthy foods or beverages offered during gatherings.
Find hobbies to practice at home.
Ideas include crocheting, coloring, reading and puzzles. These can help distract the mind from stress or boredom and help prevent unnecessary snacking.
Do you need healthy recipe ideas? Check out our Bariatric Recipe Wall!