What’s on Your Plate for the Holidays?
It’s the time of year when we deck the halls – and our holiday tables – with rich, indulgent foods. We love all the classics like honey glazed ham, turkey smothered in gravy, candied yams, and buttery mashed potatoes. And joy to the world for eggnog, sugar cookies, and peppermint bark!
It’s easy to put on extra pounds over the holidays. But what if we told you that you can have your yule log cake, and eat it too? With just a little effort, you can feast – in moderation. The key is to follow these nutritionist-approved tips.
5 Tips for Healthy Holiday Eatin’
1. Don’t skip meals before a holiday feast.
Think you should skip breakfast or lunch so that you can ‘save those calories’ for holiday dinner? Think again. If you eat a well-balanced breakfast and lunch before heading to the most celebrated meal of the day, you can keep yourself from overindulging.
2. Stay hydrated, so you don’t mistake thirst for hunger.
It’s easy to forget to drink enough water during the holidays, especially when we’re overwhelmed with splendid food and libations. To help avoid dehydration, drink water throughout the day and refill your glass during holiday dinner.
3. Give recipes a healthy tweak.
Most any favorite holiday dish can be made healthier – yes, even mashed potatoes! You can cut the amount of butter in half and add in plain Greek yogurt. This will make the potatoes creamy while adding protein. Get creative with ingredient substitutions and explore recipe makeovers that can boost the nutrition of your holiday recipes.
4. Fill your holiday plate with vegetables.
Because vegetables are hydrating and high in fiber, they fill us up with fewer calories. They are also an important source of many nutrients, including potassium, folate (folic acid), vitamin A, and vitamin C. If you eat your vegetables first, you’ll find that they’ll take the edge off your appetite.
5. Carve out time to exercise.
Just like you’d schedule a holiday activity with your family, schedule time for exercise that you enjoy. Take a walk in the fresh air. Take a spin on the exercise bike. Or unwind with a yoga or Tai Chi session.
Sources: Nutrition.gov, United States Department of Agriculture, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.