Five Tips for Eating Healthy During the Holidays

| December 3, 2012

alternative marmaladesWhether your workplace is filled with goodies from vendors, clients and coworkers, or you’re planning a whirlwind tour of the holiday party circuit, it’s likely you’ll gain a pound or two between Thanksgiving and New Year’s — if you’re not careful. Fortunately, there is a bit of good news on this front in 2012: researchers are reporting that people don’t gain as much weight over the holidays as previously believed.

You should still be mindful of eating healthy during the holidays — all it takes is a little advance planning and self-control. Easy to say, right? And to help you keep your weight in check, be sure to visit your DexKnows local directory listing for grocery stores that sell organic produce and other healthful items.

1. Plan ahead

You know you’re going to be inundated with food this time of year, so plan ahead and be determined not to overindulge. Cut up fresh vegetables to snack on at work, or, if you’re a stay-at-home parent or work from home, keep a supply of fresh fruit and veggies in your fridge. Eat a small salad or snack on fruit before attending a party. It helps avoid the temptation to overeat when you arrive.

Also, this is a bad time of the year to start a diet — depriving yourself only adds to the stress of the season. Moderation is key. The diet can wait until the new year.

2. Try some new and healthy kitchen techniques

Everything old is new again in 2012: Home canning and preserving are making a comeback. And it’s easier than ever because of all the appliances and instruction books that are available. Try some of these age-old healthful techniques in the kitchen. They’ll keep you busy learning new skills and nourish you and your family. In addition, cut back on dairy, gluten and sugar in your cooking.

3. Control the portions

You don’t have to avoid your favorite holiday foods altogether, just take smaller portions. A little mashed potatoes, turkey and stuffing go a long way. Stop eating when you’re about 60 percent full (comfortable but not stuffed). Limit your alcohol consumption, forgo cream and sugar in your coffee or tea, and enjoy a sliver of pie rather than a big piece. Take your time and eat slowly. You’ll thank yourself when you head home feeling less stuffed as well as less groggy.

4. At the buffet table, Eat This, Not That!

Eat This, Not That! has been a popular book series in the last year or two. This year, Mens Health is featuring a photo essay with tips on what to eat and what to avoid at the holiday buffet table. Green bean casserole, for example, has fewer calories and is lower in fat than creamed spinach. The article also suggests drinking champagne instead of a gin and tonic if you’re watching your waistline. More eating tips for this season are available at the site.

5. Stay active

Finally, get up off the couch! That is where you’re more likely to give in to mindless snacking. No. 1 rule: Stay active. Take your kids to see the holiday lights at the zoo or the department store window displays downtown. If it snows a lot in your area, go sledding or ice skating. Visit your park district office to discover other inexpensive and free activities for the family this holiday season.

The holidays are made for spending quality time with family and friends, so don’t stress out too much over holiday eating tips. And don’t beat yourself up if you happen to overindulge a little bit. Just make sure to get back on the wagon the next day and make an extra trip to the gym or take a jog. And let DexKnows help you make your New Year’s resolutions with its gym resource guide and other local listings.

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Category: Holiday Entertaining

About the Author ()

Katy is a Chicago-based journalist with an eclectic background in print publishing, web design and paralegal work. She's been writing and editing web content full time since 2010.