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12 Healthy Holiday Eating Tips!

Simple ways to avoid holiday weight gain and start the new year on a healthy note.

The holidays are a joyful time full of family, friends, laughter, and good cheer. But between eggnog, holiday cookies, and Grandma’s pecan pie, temptations are everywhere -- which can be rough on your waistline.


Luckily, you can still celebrate the holidays without sabotaging your health goals. Read on learn how...


Tip #1 - Bring a Healthy Dish to Share


Headed to party and aren’t sure if there will be healthy options? Bring your own! That way you know there will be at least one healthy dish there.



Tip #2 - Eat Mindfully


It can take your brain up to 20 minutes to realize you’re full. So at holiday meals slow down, eat mindfully, and savour each bite.


Tip #3 - Fill up on Veggies


Vegetables are nutrient dense, low in calories, and rich in fibre, which helps you feel full longer. At holiday gatherings, aim to fill half your plate with veggies -- and eat them first.


Tip #4 - Don't Skip Meals


Skipping meals to save your calories for later usually backfires. Often, you end up ravenous and are more likely to overeat at dinner. Sticking to a meal schedule helps keep your blood sugar steady to prevent overeating.



Tip #5 - Drink Smart


Alcoholic drinks contain empty calories that can add up quickly. So if you drink, do so in moderation. Try drinking a glass of water in between drinks, or adding sparkling water to your wine. Or enjoy a festive holiday mocktail, decaf coffee, or warm tea.


Tip #6 - Watch Your Portions


There’s nothing wrong with indulging in your favorite foods. Just watch your portion sizes so you don’t overdo it. Try using a smaller plate. Start with a small portion, and if you really need more, you can go back for seconds.


Tip #7 - Find Healthy Swaps


Consider trying a healthier version of your favorite holiday foods. For example, instead deep frying the turkey, bake it. Love cranberry sauce? Swap out the sugar for orange juice and maple syrup (recipe here). Or instead of mashed potatoes, try some mashed cauliflower.



Tip #8 - Move Your Body


One easy way to offset those extra holiday calories is to exercise. Aim for 30 minutes of physical movement most days. You can even get the family to join in. Try going for a family walk after dinner, have a touch football game in the back yard, or have a dance party.


Tip #9 - Say no to Food Pushers


Feeling pressured to eat unhealthy foods? If a friend or family member won’t take no for an answer, be confident and politely decline. Stay firm and say, “No thank you” until they back off.


Tip #10 - Watch Where You Stand


Try to not stand too close to the food table. If you do, it makes it easy to mindlessly munch while you chat. Fill your plate and then move across the room and visit.


Tip #11 - Upgrade Your Sweets


When the holiday season rolls around, temptations are everywhere. But you can still enjoy festive treats without wrecking your health goals.Just try healthier versions that are naturally sweetened with honey, maple syrup, dates, coconut sugar, or monkfruit. Check out this blog & this blog for inspiration.



Tip #12 - Don't Shop Hungry


Headed to the mall for some holiday shopping? Eat before you go. That way, hangry cravings won’t hit and Cinnabon won’t seem so tempting. Having snacks on hand is also a smart move. Good options include jerky, nuts, and protein bars.



HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

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