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10 Healthy Holiday Eating Tips

Simple tactics to stay on track with healthy eating.

10 Healthy Holiday Eating Tips

The holidays are coming and for many, that can mean challenging situations that pose great risk on even the best healthy eating plan. On average, Americans gain about a pound at holiday time which may not seem like a lot but we usually don’t lose this pound. Long term, after 10 years, you’ve put on signifcant extra weight. Short term, all the sguar, calories, sodium and fatthat you’ve consumed during the holidays may make for an extra wrinkle and dull skin for the New Year.

You can survive the holidays, though, with a few simple tactics:

 1.    Nibble at home beforehand. Enjoying a small snack of nuts, string cheese and a few whole grain crackers will mean you’re arriving at the party satisfied already, not starving.  The holiday buffet has so many food and drink options that if you go in hungry, you’re doomed.

 2.    Be the last in line. Never underestimate the visual power of food and how it effects appetite. The buffet or appetizer table looks great when you’re the lucky first man to it. Once a large amount of people have gone through, the food loses its luster. Imagine the potatoes au gratin with the crusty topping—it’s usually gone by the time you get to it if you’re last in line.

 3.    Drink all night — with a wine spritzer. Having too much alcohol is a sure fire way to lose control on the dance floor and at the buffet table (and possibly under the mistletoe!). Instead, mix two ounces of wine with club soda, a little cranberry juice and lime juice for a wine spritzer. You’ll be able to draw out your drinks throughout the night without getting out of control. Remember—many holiday drinks are loaded with calories that add up quickly: 

Egg Nog = 350 calories BEFORE the alcohol for 1 cup
Vodka on the rocks (1.5 oz) = 96 calories
Martini (4 oz) = 160 calories
Wine (5 oz) = 100 calories

 4.    Stop eating when you're full.  Sometimes we overeat because we still feel hungry, but then afterwards we feel uncomfortably stuffed. Get attuned with how your body feels when it's "full" so you know when to stop. This might mean training yourself to eat more slowly than you're used to so you can listen to your body's cues. 

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