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6 Ways to Eat Healthy Through the Holidays

6 Ways to Eat Healthy Through the Holidays

‘Tis the season for family, friends, traditions, and …. food! You’ve likely been invited to more than a few holiday parties and are looking forward to these festive events. To stay focused on healthy living throughout the season, it may help to have a strategy in mind as you celebrate.

In addition to the tried-and-true tips of “Don’t go hungry” and “Load up on veggies” here are a few suggestions to consider:

  • Keep portion control in the palm of your hand. One of the easiest tools for portion control is with you at all times. Your palm! The size of your palm represents approximately 3 oz. of protein; ½ cup of rice, pasta or small potato; or ½ cup of veggies. Even better, I like using my entire hand as a guide. When filling your plate, pile on the veggies about the size of your entire hand. Your palm will represent your protein choice, your fist will represent your grain.
  • Caution with the “c” words! Watch out for dishes that are cheesy, creamy, and crispy. They may be delicious but they are loaded with saturated fat. Steer clear of them, or limit yourself to one or two tablespoons -- just a little tasting portion!
  • Drink wisely. Stay super hydrated with lots of water (always!) and try not to drink most of your calories. Ciders, alcoholic beverages, and punches can easily contain hundreds of calories. Think food -- not drinks -- to stay full and satisfied.
  • Dilute the wine. Try mixing 2 oz. of white wine with sparkling water and perhaps a splash of cranberry juice for a refreshing wine spritzer.
  • Sit strategically. Remember the holidays are a time to connect with others, give thanks, and enjoy the festivities. After your meal, situate yourself away from the kitchen or buffet table and focus on the company.
  • Move and rest. As you focus on nutrition, also remember to stay active and don’t abandon your regular exercise regime. This will keep your immune system strong and help you get the rest you need during the hectic holidays.

Eating right during the holidays can help you make the most of the season and enter the New Year energized and invigorated. For more advice on better nutrition for healthlier living, contact the nutrition professionals at the YMCA.