Experience the Best Holidays Yet with These Healthy Eating Habits!

The holidays are coming, which means I am already thinking about some healthy eating habits. Not necessarily because I plan to pass on the stuffing or skip the chocolate truffles, but because I know that this time of the year there is food everywhere.

Seriously. There’s appetizers every which way you turn, and more dessert trays than Shaquille O’Neal could handle. It’s all delicious, and it’s all very tempting. Quite often, the socializing aspect of the holidays makes me completely unaware of all of the cheese dip I’m plowing into my mouth. They also make me incredibly aware of how much wine I’ve had at grandmas.

So.

In saying that, I’ve put together a few tips for anyone who wants to take it a little bit easy this year. I feel so badly when a host puts their heart and soul into a dinner, only to have a fridge full of leftovers because I filled up on jalapeno poppers and guacamole. (My appetizer game is ridiculous and it needs to stop.)

If anyone needs some idea on how to combat aggressive holiday eating habits like mine, check out the chips below: (TIPS …I meant tips.)

Stand away from the munchies 

People always tend to gather around the food, which is a no-no. Like I mentioned, it’s easy to throw back a cracker and cheese in the middle of a conversation, but the plate might be cleared as you walk away. (Oh …did I do that?)

Save yourself from overloading by having conversations away from all of the food. Doing so will help you to have some extra room for your actual meal, which will likely include some healthier options like salads, proteins and vegetables.1124AP_11_24_2012_33683805_L-copy-638x425

Make a plate 

Holiday hosts will usually put out small plates for their appetizers and snacks, and taking advantage of these smaller-portioned plates is a great idea. Try to focus on the fruit and veggie trays, and cut back on the crackers and dips.

If you’re going to be staying for dinner, consider giving yourself a limit of only one or two little plates. For those parties where the night is strictly hors d’oeuvres, try to have a limit that’s a little bit higher. Using plates will help you with your portion sizes and stop you from grazing on one specific type of food.

Focus on your meal  

When it comes to dinnertime, take your time with your plate. It can be really difficult to focus on what you’re eating, but this will help you to take your time and feel more full as a result.

For our family meals, the tables are always jam-packed with people and noise, and at least four high-chairs. It’s easy to get distracted, and I end up shoveling my food in without a second thought. (And honestly, I’m already thinking about dessert.)

Savor the meal, take small sips from your drink and appreciate how much work has been put into the food. By the end of your meal you’ll feel much more satisfied, and much less likely to head back to the appetizers.1124untitled

Be strong at the mall

… be very, very strong. The mall is a crazy and wild place, and practicing healthy eating habits isn’t always easy when you keep walking past the food court. If you’re lucky, you’ll have a few healthier options to choose from, but if you’re looking at strictly burgers and poutine then you’ll need to have a plan.

If you can, try hitting the mall outside of your regular meal time. It can be really useful to go early in the morning when the mall opens, because it’s less busy and you’ll have just eaten breakfast. If you can’t swing the morning shop, try heading out right after eating a hearty lunch. If you’re efficient, you’ll even be able to avoid the 5 o’clock rush!

If you’re hitting the mall last-minute, pack some small snacks like grapes or a granola bar to keep you away from the greasy foods.1124img_0752

Bring your own plates

Sometimes hosts will ask people to bring an appetizer or a dish for dinner. Take advantage of this for your healthy eating! Consider bringing a healthy option that you know you enjoy and can munch on through the night.

This could be anything from guacamole or veggie trays, to hummus dips and fruit skewers. Set yourself up for success by bringing a few things that are light and nutritious. This way, you’ll feel perfectly fine mowing down while you hear all about your great-aunt’s last crokinole tournament.

 

Maintaining healthy eating habits during the holidays doesn’t have to be hard! Plan ahead for yourself, and know that you’re going to be exposed to a lot of decadent plates and tempting foods. Use the tips suggested, so that you enjoy everything the holidays have to offer, including a few of those tasty holiday treats.

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