healthy-diet-holidays

Did you know the average American gains approximately 5-10 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Years? With plenty of holiday parties and an ample supply of pumpkin pie, sugar cookies and stuffing, it can be hard to maintain a healthy diet over the holiday season.

Avoid holiday weight gain and maintain a healthy diet by following these seven tips:

Eat a small snack beforehand
Before you attend a holiday party, eat a small snack that is high in protein, such as a handful of nuts, a tablespoon of peanut butter or Greek yogurt. By eating beforehand, you’ll be less hungry and less likely to overeat.

Eat smaller portions
When you’re strolling through the buffet line, be conscious of the portion size you put on your plate. If you sample a spoonful (or two) of each entrée, your plate will be plenty full by the time you reach the end of the line.

Eat slowly and savor your meal
It takes approximately 20 minutes for your brain to realize that your stomach is full. Give your brain enough time to catch up to your stomach by taking small bites and eating slowly. Making small talk with company at your dinner table will also help you pace your meal.

Munch on low-calorie items
If you find yourself grabbing for munchies while you’re mixing and mingling, make sure to grab nutritious, low-calorie foods. Instead of reaching for more dessert, reach for the veggie tray or fruit platter.

Don’t drink too much liquid calories
Whether you enjoy eggnog, spiced cider or the occasional cocktail, limit the number of liquid calories you consume. After you’ve enjoyed one of your favorite beverages, swap your drink for a glass of water. Drinking more water will also help you stay fuller longer. Sometimes the body can confuse thirst for hunger, so before you reach for more food, drink a glass of water and then see if you’re still hungry.

Allow yourself to indulge in holiday treats
Don’t deprive yourself from enjoying your favorite holiday treats. Allow yourself to have a few treats over the course of the holiday season. Remember, everything in moderation!

Make time for exercise
Although the hustle and bustle of the holidays can make it hard to fit a workout into your day, don’t forget to make exercise part of your routine. By continuing to exercise on a regular basis, you’ll burn off some of the extra calories you consume during the holiday season.

If you follow these tips, you’ll be able to maintain a healthy diet while enjoying the treasured treats and festive flavors of the holiday season.

What tips and tricks do you have for staying healthy over the holidays?