How to Eat Healthy Throughout the Holiday Season

by Alli

The holidays are a wonderful time of year when you get to spend time with friends and family free from workplace worries. However, studies show that on average, Americans gain up to two pounds between Thanksgiving and Christmas. If you’re interested in fending off the extra weight this holiday season, here are some tips to help you stay on track with your eating goals.

How to Eat Healthy Throughout the Holidays

Snack Ahead of Time

If you show up to a party when you haven’t eaten in several hours, you’re more likely to indulge in a large variety of high-calorie food and drinks. About an hour before you’re ready to leave, snack on something that contains both protein and fiber, like a cup of Greek yogurt topped with chia seeds and raspberries.

Splurge Wisely

At holiday parties, there are likely to be run of the mill foods like potato chips and store-bought dip among the truly special homemade goodies. Try to avoid eating empty calories that are easily obtained at the store, and opt for something delicious and homemade instead. You’ll enjoy it more, and if you’re having a craving for chips later, you can easily get them from the store.

Bring Healthy Recipes

If it’s your turn to bring a dish to a holiday party, try creating a healthy recipe. Traditional party foods can still taste great without the extra fat and calories. For example, if you’d like to bring a pasta or potato salad, try replacing the mayo with Hampton Creek eggless mayo. For more inspiration on healthy recipes, visit their Facebook page.

Fill Up on Fruits and Veggies

Eat Healthy Throughout the Holiday Season

Even if you have your eye on a Pinterest-worthy dessert, fill up at least some of your plate with fruits and veggies, if possible. A few carrot sticks with a dollop of low-fat dip and a helping of fruit salad will help keep you full, so you won’t be tempted to stock your plate with everything at the buffet table.

Avoid Excessive Alcohol Consumption

Holiday parties are known for letting the drinks flow freely. While it’s a party and it’s expected that you’ll splurge a little, try your best to limit yourself to just a few drinks. The calories in alcoholic beverages quickly add up, and once you’re feeling buzzed, it gets harder to control your urges to snack. Limit yourself to a glass of champagne or two to stay in control throughout the night.

Spend Time Moving

If you’re at a big holiday party that has a dance floor, take advantage of the opportunity to get moving and burn off some of those calories. If you really get going, it’s possible to burn upwards of 200 calories in less than an hour!

Pick a Strategic Spot

If you know you’ll be tempted to re-fill your plate repeatedly if you hang around near the food table, grab your friends and go to a spot where you’re not able to see the food. Out of sight, out of mind is more effective than you might think.

Stay Hydrated

Eat Healthy

After spending a few hours chatting with friends, eating delicious snacks, and maybe enjoying a few glasses of wine, it’s important to stay hydrated. It’s advisable to drink a glass of water before you even arrive at the party, but make sure to drink a glass of water every hour to stay full and clear-headed.

After the Holiday Party

After you’ve had a great time at the holiday party, you can recover by drinking a big glass of water once you get home and having a good night’s sleep. When you wake up in the morning, drink a warm mug of water with lemon juice to support healthy digestive function and eat a fibrous breakfast like oatmeal with flax seeds. If possible, try to go for a 30-minute walk to get yourself back into a committed mindset.

Stay on Track

Even if your schedule is packed with multiple parties to attend, it’s important to stay on track between each one. It’s okay to splurge occasionally, especially during the holidays, but to reach your goals you need to stay consistent. For best results, continue to eat a healthy diet and establish an exercise routine that you enjoy.

In conjunction with healthy eating and adequate exercise, follow the above tips to successfully navigate the tricky situations that come with holiday parties. Most importantly, remember that it’s okay to splurge every once in a while, and forgive yourself and quickly move on after you’ve had a “cheat day.”

17 comments

Paula Schuck August 22, 2016 - 10:10 am

These are such great tips for anyone trying not to binge over the holidays. Thanks so much for sharing these.

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Chrishelle Ebner August 22, 2016 - 10:47 am

This time of year I am definitely prone to put on a few pounds. I will be using your tips to avoid the holiday bulge.

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Pam August 22, 2016 - 11:13 am

These are great tips. It’s important to stay hydrated because it’s easy to mistake thirst for hunger if you’re not careful.

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zan August 22, 2016 - 11:34 am

I love all these tips. I have tried many of them when we going to a party, especially with my kids in mind. I know chips and pop and empty calories do not provide a healthy dinner so I will bring stuff that the kids could eat. Or, I will feed them something before they leave that way, they don’t fill up on too much junk. But yes, I love a little splurge every now and again and will even bring a sweet treat at times. Great tips!!

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Dee August 22, 2016 - 12:58 pm

I like the after party tip that you gave. I would have never thought to drink water once your home and to wake up drinking lemon water. I like that if helps push your digestive system a long and knocks you back on track

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lisa August 22, 2016 - 5:52 pm

These are all great tips. It’s always the holiday desserts that I have to avoid and the delicious alcoholic beverages people make during holidays!

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Jenn @ EngineerMommy August 22, 2016 - 5:53 pm

These are great tips on how to watch the waistline through the holidays. Filling up on fruits & veggies is a great way to not overindulge on other foods.

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Liz Mays August 22, 2016 - 8:16 pm

I like the idea of snacking before parties. There are always going to be delicious looking desserts that are hard to resist.

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Bonnie @wemake7 August 22, 2016 - 10:49 pm

Thank you for sharing this. Holidays are always hard for me because of all the high calorie sugary foods. I will have to try these tips this year.

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Rebecca Swenor August 22, 2016 - 11:04 pm

These are all great to eat healthy throughout the holiday seasons. Eating fruits and veggies before you go to any party is a great idea along with drink plenty of water if you plan to drink. Sitting away from the food too is an awesome idea. Thanks for shairng the tips.

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Tiaras & Tantrums August 23, 2016 - 12:05 am

Only two pounds with all those delicious desserts floating around?! Too many cookies by us – I gain way more weight! ☺ I try not to over indulge – but oh my, people need to stop giving me sweets! ☺

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Franc Ramon August 23, 2016 - 12:15 am

I think I would go for veggies and fruits. It’s also better to do away with alcohon.

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Sarah August 23, 2016 - 12:28 am

Wow you make it sound super easy with these ideas to eat healthy during holiday season. I will have to try some of your ideas to stay on track with good eating habits.

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Nikki August 23, 2016 - 4:37 am

I’m really glad that you shared these helpful tips. It’s really important to eat healthy foods, it’s better to invest to our body.

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Annemarie LeBlanc August 23, 2016 - 8:46 am

It is always so tempting to binge during the holiday festivities. I am guilty of such, but I do try my best to burn off those excess calories by staying active. Thanks for these tips. They are really helpful.

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Farrah Less G. August 23, 2016 - 11:45 am

Holiday normally makes me bloated because of the abundant food serving on the table. hard to resist but after that you feel guilty. And this year I will make a change and make our family meal more friendly for the heart and yet will not suffer our taste buds. This is a great idea s to start with.

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Dawn McAlexander August 23, 2016 - 5:08 pm

One of my favorite things about the holidays is all the tasty food. However, I try my best to eat the healthier options, such as fruit salads or or vegetable casseroles. They may not be completely healthy, but it’s better than stuffing down a ton of meats.

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