Tips on Healthy Eating This Holiday Season

Guest Blog by Wendy Fisher, MPH, RD

It’s holiday time again and the days between Thanksgiving and New Years’ can be filled with temptation. You don’t have to sacrifice taste or traditions to stay on track this holiday season. Here are some tips to help you enjoy the season without weight gain or bouncing blood glucose control.  

BE REALISTIC 

  • Instead of trying to lose weight during the holidays, set a goal of weight maintenance. This is more realistic, freeing you from the “all or nothing” thinking that sabotages healthy eating.  

PLAN AHEAD 

  • Don’t sit down to a festive meal hungry. Eat a light but filling snack (such as yogurt or a piece of fruit) beforehand.  
  • Do not skip meals, keep carbohydrates consistent throughout the day, and try to stick with your usual meal plan.  

AVOID OVEREATING 

  • Try to sit at least an arm’s length away from the food table before and after eating to prevent nibbling.  
  • Choose smaller portions of your favorite foods and eat slowly, savoring every bite.  
  • Wait a few minutes before going back for seconds so you can really feel your body’s response to fullness.  

ALCOHOL 

  • Limit alcohol use since it is high in calories and can stimulate your appetite. If you want to drink alcohol set a limit of one to two drinks per occasion. Always consume alcohol with food and avoid sweet wines and liqueurs.  
  • Try having club soda/calorie-free sparkling water, or water with a lime or lemon or with a splash of juice.  

FOOD CHOICES 

  • Choose vegetables, fruit, or grain-based foods. Snack on cut-up vegetables for a guaranteed low-calorie snack.  
  • Limit fried food. Choose steamed, grilled, baked, or broiled items instead.  
  • You don’t have to pass up your favorite dessert but remember to indulge in moderation. Have just a taste or share dessert with someone.  

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY 

  • Include physical activity as a part of your holiday plans. If you overindulge make sure you go for a walk.  
  • Take a walk between dinner and dessert.  
  • Admire holiday decorations by foot, after the meal.  

COOKING 

  • Use lower-fat versions of sour cream, cream cheese, yogurt, or evaporated milk.  
  • Substitute whole milk with skim milk.  
  • Skim the fat off of the gravy and broth to make lower fat sauces and soups.  

LEFTOVERS 

  • Remember, food safety should be a part of any celebration involving food. A good rule of thumb is to keep hot food hot and cold food cold. Food left at room temperature for over two hours should be discarded, this includes turkey. 
  • Freeze leftovers in portion size containers so you can enjoy favorite items after the holidays are over.  
  • Graciously decline to bring leftovers home.  

Bottom line: Enjoy yourself! 

Wendy Fisher, MPH, RD
Registered Dietitian
1100 Carson Ave
La Junta, Colorado 81050
[email protected]
Phone: 719-383-6230
Fax: 719-383-5131