The holidays are a time for family gatherings, reunions with old friends, and plenty of food to go around. Traveling and attending holiday parties can make your commitment to eating a healthy diet fly right out the window, but the busy holiday season doesn’t have to mean gaining extra pounds.
A little preparation and setting realistic expectations when it comes to eating can help you stay in control of your choices and your waistline.
The doctors at Wasatch Peak Family Practice are here to help you navigate eating and celebrating at all those holiday parties. Here are five of their top tips to get you going.
1. Set realistic expectations
Sweet treats, savory stuffings, and delicious foods are seemingly unavoidable around the holidays. Because family and friends often gather around the dinner table, starting a diet during the holiday season can set you up for disappointment.
Instead, make a plan for healthy eating that’s flexible. Don’t commit to a restrictive diet that gives you anxiety at holiday parties and makes you miss out on visiting with the people you love. Plan ahead by bringing a healthy option to eat or prioritize exercise to keep your body healthy even if you indulge in some holiday treats every now and then.
2. Stick to a regular meal schedule
It can be tempting to skip meals in order to “save calories” for a holiday party. But waiting to eat can make you hungrier and actually cause you to eat more when you get to the table. Maintaining your normal meal schedule helps you stay in control and choose what you eat.
And when you do go to a party or holiday dinner, make sure you have something small to eat before you go. Making healthy choices is easier when your stomach isn’t rumbling from hunger.
3. Savor your food
Choose foods that you really enjoy and savor them as you eat. Take the time to be present and enjoy the tastes and textures when you’re eating at holiday parties.
If there’s a buffet filled with lots of holiday treats, spend a moment walking around to see what your options are. Once you know what you’d like, you’re less likely to pile a little bit of everything onto your plate.
4. Be mindful of alcohol
Popular holiday beverages like mulled wine and eggnog can have up to 500 calories a glass. In addition to these empty calories, drinking alcohol can make it easier for you to use poor judgement when it comes to eating healthy foods.
Having just one beer or glass of wine keeps you making smart choices about your holiday diet. Picking zero-calorie beverages like water or tea can also help you keep your calorie intake in check.
5. Enjoy treats in moderation
Eating your favorite pumpkin pie or Christmas cookie doesn’t have to leave you feeling guilty. If there’s a treat that you love, enjoy it. Eating sweets in moderation won’t make or break your healthy lifestyle.
If you do overindulge at a party, let it go. Just be mindful and make sure that you get back on track by eating healthy meals in the following days, as well as incorporating regular exercise into your routine.
Whether you want to live life to the fullest or you have existing health conditions and want the best care, look no further than the compassionate team at Wasatch Peak Family Practice for your primary care needs. Call our office at 801-210-9984 or request an appointment online to start your journey to a healthier you today.