Healthy Holiday Eating Tips

by Sammi Richardson

The holidays are here and the parties are in full swing. This time of year it’s hard to escape tempting treats such as eggnog, gingerbread cookies, pies, cakes, brownies and more. While we encourage you to indulge yourself a bit this time of year, you don’t want to ruin the holiday spirit by feeling guilty about your intake.

Here are some easy to follow tips that will have you looking trim instead of running to the gym after the holidays.

1. Watch your drink intake. A lot of people don’t realize that drinks are nothing more than liquid calories. You should restrict your alcohol consumption to no more than one or two servings. You should also restrict the type of alcohol you’re drinking too. Ditch the high-fat eggnog for a light beer or wine.  After that, stick with calorie-free drinks such as water, coffee, hot tea or unsweetened iced tea.

2.  Avoid sauces. Sauces made from cream, half-and-half or meat drippings are the most caloric. For salads, use oil and vinegar, vinaigrette or low-fat dressings.

3.  Prepare a healthy dish. If you’re going to a potluck dinner, bring a healthy dish to share such as a salad, a fruit or vegetable plate or a low-fat dessert. This way you’ll know there will be something healthy for you to munch on.

4. Watch the Appetizers. Appetizers are often the most unhealthy options, so choose just one and keep any eye out for healthy options, such as the veggie tray. A small portion of some appetizers may help you from overeating at dinner. Restrict your intake of cheese, crackers, chips and meats. Also try to avoid the temptation to go back for seconds!

5.  Plan ahead. Before you head out, eat a healthy snack such as a fat-free yogurt or a serving of your favorite fruit. When you arrive at the party you won’t be as hungry.

6.  Find your place. An easy mistake to make is to stand around the food table at a party. It’s a recipe for disaster.  Focus your energy on socializing with the guests. Conversation won’t cost you calories.

7.  Just say no. Sometimes you may feel forced to indulge in food that is in front of you. It’s okay to politely say no or tell the guest “thank you, I’ve had enough”, or “I couldn’t eat another bite.” You’ll quickly feel better to reject the item then to give in to a second helping of cheesecake.

These tips will help you keep those holiday pounds at bay. And we bet you’ll have a merrier holiday season by not feeling guilty!

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