Don't Let 'Holiday Foods' Spoil Your Healthy Lifestyle

Written by: Damijana Presečnik, M. Sc. in Nutrition

Most of us put healthy eating habits that we try to maintain throughout the year, to the sidelines during the December holiday season. We are tempted by tables laden with many treats at dinner parties. Trays full of irresistible sweets made by our moms and grandmothers never seem to go empty. In good company of our friends and family we tend to forget how much of that Christmas punch or some other sweet alcoholic beverage we've already had.

Holiday (over)eating could easily lead to stress. We get overwhelmed by guilt and we make promises to go on a diet right after New Year's and seeing the scale go up is heart breaking.

Is Avoiding Holiday Feasts Really the Only Way?

It can be said that holiday feasts are not healthy. The food is usually too sweet, too salty and too fatty, which makes our brain want even more of the food. Research shows that on average an adult person gains 7 to 10 pounds during the holiday season. And that is the last thing we want, right?

To avoid the after-holiday unpleasantness such as stomach ache, abdominal bloating, bad conscience, and gained weight we don't have to completely avoid delicious holiday food. It is very important to eat in moderation, eat diverse, balanced, and protective foods, that should include seasonal fruits and vegetables, whole grain products, sufficient amount of water or unsweetened tea.

5 Tips on How to Avoid Overeating during the Holiday Dinner

  • Going to a holiday dinner doesn't mean you should eliminate other daily meals as that will make you eat even more.
  • Smaller plate automatically means smaller portion (and you won't have a feeling that your plate is empty despite getting less food).
  • Try to stick to just one portion.
  • Put diverse low fat food, based on vegetables, on your plate. By doing so you will also be able to have a piece of dessert without feeling guilty.
  • Stop eating as soon as your body tells you so.

By listening to your body, preparing the food thoughtfully, and choosing it wisely, the food will make our holidays even nicer.