Did know that the average Thanksgiving meal has over 3,000 calories or that during the holidays nearly 40% of calories consumed are fat calories? Every year, it is estimated that the average American gains two to three pounds during the holiday season. This year, you don’t have to be a statistic. You can still enjoy the celebrations and share Season’s greetings without hindering your weight loss progress. After all, the holidays aren’t just for eating – they are about spending time with your loved ones and celebrating the Season!
However, we know that foods and beverages are still largely present at the end of the year celebrations and parties, but not to worry, we have some healthy holiday eating tips and tricks to keep you on track while achieving your weight loss and healthy living goals!
- Make sure to eat before you go to help you avoid overeating.
- Focus on foods that are full of fiber. Fiber adds bulk, which helps keep you feeling more satisfied, as well as aiding in healthy digestion.
- Stay hydrated – eat foods with a higher water content (and a lower calorie content!) like celery, cucumbers, and lettuce. Staying away from salty foods will help you stay hydrated, too.
- Per the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, fill half your plate with vegetables, ¼ of your plate with protein, and ¼ of your plate with grains, fruit, and/or dairy for a well-rounded intake. To help with further portion control, use a smaller plate.
- Eat slowly and savor every bite. It takes 15-20 minutes for the body to fully register what you have eaten; take your time.
- Give your food some extra flavor with herbs instead of the added fat from butter or extra salt from common seasoning blends.
- Bring your own salad dressing if you are worried about available options. Remember to stick to these requirements: less than 5 grams of carbohydrate and less than 5 grams of fat per serving.
- Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water or non-caloric beverages. Just like fiber, water helps keep your system functioning well and makes you feel full. If you haven’t already, give the Medifast Infusers or Energy drops a try! They are a great way to add a lot of flavor without the calories.
- While you may be tempted by a traditional cup of eggnog, look for eggnog alternatives that are lower in fat. Do your best to avoid extra toppings such as whipped topping, creams, and chocolate.
- Try to limit your exposure to alcohol. Not only will you avoid that nasty hangover, but you’ll avoid hundreds of empty calories as well. Alcohol slows down the breakdown of fat, making it more difficult for your body to burn fat. If you do choose to participate, choose a glass of dry white wine. White wine has fewer calories than most beers and cocktails.
- Come up with a few nice ways to say “no” to temptations. For instance, offering a compliment or showing appreciation for thoughtfulness can be a great way to avoid offending a friend and keep the calories away.
- Get involved in the party planning, that way you can prepare food that is healthy and delicious. Need some inspiration for healthy holiday recipes? You can find all kinds of recipes right here on our blog!
- If you are attending a party, offer to be the designated driver. You’ll be helping yourself by avoiding the empty calories, and you’ll be helping others celebrate safely.
- If you are at a party, don’t hover by the snacks. You’ll be more likely to overeat. Instead, get up and mingle or sit away from the snacks to limit your tendencies to nibble.