Eating Healthy Throughout The Holidays

The holidays are a time to spend with family and friends. It is a time to enjoy good food and remember what we are thankful for. However, for many due to over indulgence the holidays typically mean weight gain that never goes away. Weight gain that over time can lead to obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, cancer, etc. I am here to tell you today that if you plan right that the holidays can be enjoyable and you can maintain your current weight you are at. Keep your focus on a balance of activity, family, food and fun!

First of all if your current goal is to lose weight, maybe change your goal to maintain weight throughout the holidays, especially if you know you have a lot of extra holiday parties to attend. Adjust your workout schedule to fit into your busy holiday schedule. Make sure you are still getting in your workouts yet make modifications to your workouts. See my last blog article on exercising through the holidays for more information on how to manage your workouts through all the hustle and bustle.  Do not let the stress of the holidays get you down, fight back and get your exercise in to not only feel better but avoid the weight gain from the added stress and the added yummy food.

Here are some tips for eating healthy throughout the holiday parties and the big Thanksgiving Day that will help you to enjoy your favorite foods as well as avoiding the over indulgence of the array of foods in front of us.

  • Before you leave for a party, eat a light snack, such as a piece of fruit, some veggies, or a yogurt. This will help curb your appetite before getting to the party and you will be less likely to over eat.
  • If going to a party survey the food tables first before choosing what you place on your plate, then fill up your plate first with the healthier options like fruits and veggies, lean meats and cheeses, shrimp cocktail, whole grain crackers. Then if you are still hungry go back for small amounts of your favorite things. This way you will not over indulge in the high calorie/ high fat foods and instead stick to a much healthier option with a small reward at the end.
  • If you are bringing a dish such as mashed potatoes try a healthier version such as, cauliflower mashed potatoes. They are super easy to make and will have almost a similar taste and texture as regular mashed potatoes.  You can also do things such as making the gravy placing it in the fridge until cool and then scrapping the fat off the top of it. Use light cream cheese, skim milk, when baking use 2 egg whites instead of 1 whole egg.
  • For dessert try a crust less pumpkin pie, chocolate dipped strawberries, or a low fat yogurt dip with fruit skewers.
  • Be cautious of sugary foods, the more you eat the more you will crave the sugary foods. Try to eat something sweet like a piece of fruit to satisfy that craving first, if you still want that delicious food calling your name that is loaded with sugar then put a small serving on your plate. Try using a mint, piece of gum, or brushing your teeth right afterward to avoid wanting more.
  • Pay attention to how you feel. If you feel satisfied then stop eating this will help you avoid over eating or eating foods you really do not want.
  • Do not be afraid to say “No!” If you are offered something that is unhealthy or you are simply full, do not be shy simply say “no thank you!” It will help from eating added unnecessary calories over the holidays.
  • Be cautious of Alcoholic beverages, these can cause us to want to eat more foods the more we drink. Also non-alcoholic beverages and alcoholic beverages are loaded with extra calories so if you are going to drink alcohol or other beverages be sure to drink at least one glass of water in between each beverage.

So plan out your holidays, stay active, and enjoy your time with you families. When you get stressed out instead of reaching for that piece of chocolate, or left over dessert, throw on your walking/running shoes and get out there with the family. Remember what the holidays are most about, not the busyness, not the presents, not the foods, but it is about spending time with our families and friends! May you all have a very blessed Holiday Season! For more tips to survive the holidays with out adding pounds, or to set up workouts contact me at, or (805) 822-8058




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