Healthy eating can be tough during the holiday season. Thanksgiving feasts, Christmas cookies, and holiday parties can be hard to navigate when you are trying to stay healthy. On average, Americans gain 1-2 lbs during the holiday season. It doesn’t sound like much, but research shows that it often tends to stick and accumulate over the years. If you have kids at home, the holidays can be a great time to practice being a good role model using some of the tips below.
- Savor each bite. The holidays is a time for delicious homemade food and desserts. Part of healthy eating is not depriving yourself of your favorites. Be mindful. Take smaller portions and enjoy each bite. Take time to pause and taste the food. Put your fork or spoon down in between bites. It takes your body at least 20 minutes to signal to the brain that you are ‘full’ so it is important to eat slowly and savor your food.
- Avoid skipping meals. It is tempting to avoid breakfast or lunch meals if you know that you are going to be having a big holiday feast. But skipping meals can cause you to overeat later. Eat a well-balanced breakfast and lunch to avoid overeating later.
- Watch your plate. Try using a smaller plate to avoid giving yourself too large of portions. And be mindful of what you are putting on your plate. Try filling your plate with veggies, salads, fruit before helping yourself to entrees and desserts.
- Lose the guilt. Eating during the holidays can make people anxious, but try not to get too worked up. Remember that now is a great time to practice role modeling for your little ones but it should also be a time of celebration and fun with your family. If you do eat more than you planned, don’t beat yourself up. Don’t let a slip become a fall.
The holidays are a great time to try new recipes with your family. Check out this Peanut Butter Pumpkin Dip! A fun recipe for Thanksgiving!