If you want to keep up your healthy eating habits during the holidays, become a food snob. Being a food snob simply means that you are selective about what you eat. Go for foods you can’t get all year long. Someone may have brought a dish that you like, but if it’s something you typically make during the year then skip it.
For instance, you may eat baked chicken all year long but how often do you go through the trouble of roasting and stuffing a turkey? If it’s not very often, then go for that dish instead. The same is true for something like egg nog. There’s no need to have egg nog and ice cream in the same day when you can have ice cream any time you want it.
Stop and Go
The second part of your healthy holiday eating strategy is to eat before you go and stop before you’re stuffed. Your plans to maintain healthy eating habits can be harder to stick to when you’re starving. It’s far more difficult to eat right when you’re starving than when you’re just a little hungry. Skipping meals all day will set you up to binge at a holiday dinner. That can spell disaster because holiday foods are much more likely to be rich, sweet, and fatty than usual.
Be mindful of when you start to feel satisfied. Don’t wait until you have to undo your pants from fullness to stop eating. Try to pace yourself. That’s what leftovers are for.
Bring a Healthy Dish to the Holiday Dinner
Unless you’re going to the holiday dinner party of a very strict healthy eater, chances are that there won’t be a wide selection of healthy foods. After all, the joy of holiday eating is in enjoying the full flavor that ingredients like real butter and sugar add to foods.
Volunteer to bring a healthy dish to the holiday party so you definitely know that there will be low calorie, low fat, or high fiber choices available. This will help you keep some balance on your plate. A fresh fruit and veggie tray is appropriate for any holiday gathering. Seeing a large spread of food stimulates us to want to constantly eat. Foods like fruits and vegetables will allow guests to munch all day with no worries of overdoing it. Watch the high fat dips, though. Opt for a fruit dip made from low fat cream cheese mixed with low fat whipped topping.
You’re All Set for Healthy Holiday Eating
It’s OK to enjoy yourself on holidays. Indulging in rich holiday foods for a few days around Thanksgiving and Christmas will not make you fat or compromise your healthy eating plans. Significant weight gain occurs over a period of time. It’s not what you do on occasion that defines whether or not you’re a healthy eater. It’s what you do every day.