How to Eat Healthy-ish During the Holidays
Let’s be honest, the holidays are not the time to be counting calories and having food and body image anxiety. Don’t get me wrong, I am not promoting binge eating for 5 weeks straight, but cut your self some slack. Holiday time brings along its own stressors, what to eat shouldn’t be one of them!
With that said, it’s still important to keep the concepts of mindful eating alive. Remember we eat for many reasons, and the two most important reasons are for nourishment and enjoyment!
Here are 5 simple tips to keep in mind while trekking through the holiday season.
- Eat breakfast. No matter how much food you ate the night before, even if it includes a midnight cookie, skipping breakfast will not help get your “diet” back on track. Eating a well-balanced breakfast will jump start your day, help maintain energy levels and prevent overeating later on.
- Focus on fruit and veggies. This is a message that should take priority 365 days a year (and yes 366 on leap years!). Embracing fruits and vegetables at all meals and all snacks is not only extremely important for our health, but it’s also great training for our palate. Fruits and veggies not only come in a rainbow of bright, beautiful colors, they also come in exciting textures, flavors, and aromas. All of these characteristics are enticing and attractive to keep us wanting more!
- The importance of hydration never takes a holiday break. With the hustle and bustle of the holidays, paired with different eating and drinking habits, the normal daily water drinking often gets pushed to the back burner. Keep your water bottle handy and filled at all times to eliminate excuses.
- Be mindful. Yes there are some dishes and desserts that only come around once a year, but that doesn’t mean you need to overindulge. Take the time to fully embrace the food that you are eating with all of your senses and listen closely to your hunger and satiety cues. This will help you achieve a more pleasant eating experience.
- Move on. So you may have eaten a bit more than you had planned over the holiday season. Get over it! It’s OKAY! Don’t let this set you into a downhill spiral. Show yourself some love and get back on track (the sooner the better)!
Meredith McGrath, RD, LDN