Holiday parties are upon us, and this means temptation is not far behind. But, don’t fret! You can still say “yes” to holiday food and stay on track with these 10 tips for eating healthy during the holidays.
Tip #1: Choose Your Portions Wisely
The saying rings true: your eyes are bigger than your stomach. Holiday parties are filled with food and cocktails – as far as the eye can see – to throw you off track and leave you in a carb coma. Instead of loading up your plate with large servings of each delicious option, start with a small portion of the dishes you’d like to try the most. You can always go back for a little more if you find something you love.
Tip #2: Spoil Your Appetite
Choosing the right healthy appetizers before dinner takes the edge of your hunger and leaves you with a clean, guilt-free slate. Steer clear of fried options and opt for fresh, low calorie apps. Fresh fruit, bite sized veggies and shrimp cocktail are good places to start!
Tip #3: Choose Your Dips Wisely
Although a party staple, dips are particularly unhealthy for you. They offer up sneaky calories that you glob all over other foods, like chips, crackers and breads. What’s the worst culprit of all? Steer clear of the crab dip. Think of all the fatty, creamy condiments you can image, and chances are, you’ll find them in this dip. Most crab dips are packed with mayonnaise, cheddar cheese, sour cream, and cream cheese…all in the same little bowl. Avoid the dip. You’ll thank yourself later.
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Tip #4: Scan the Room
Before loading up your plate with every finger food in site, take a moment to do a once-over. Scan the spread of party food so you know what’s available and what you have to choose from. Take a moment to decide what you’d like to try and then help yourself to two or three tings you truly love.
Tip #5: Drink More Water
This tip rings true throughout the year. Sipping on water keeps you fuller for longer and helps control those inescapable cravings. Choosing water over sugary punches and cocktails saves you the calories and the inevitable sugar crash. It also keeps your skin looking clean and fresh for all those holiday photos.
Tip #6: Back Away from the Buffet
Don’t linger by the food. This simple tip is easily forgotten, but may save you hundreds of calories from mindless nibbling. If it’s right in front of you, you’ll be more tempted to pick it up and eat it, even if you’re already stuffed. Make conversation far from he buffet, forcing you to make conscious decisions about what to eat.
Tip #7: Be a Smart Cookie
When it comes to dessert, make smart choices. Try to focus on one dessert that you love to enjoy during the holidays. Savor the flavor and embrace the experience. Whether it be a few Christmas cookies or a delicious piece of cheesecake, you’ll be glad you made a conscious choice.
Tip #8: Don’t Like It? Don’t Eat It?
Were you raised with your mother leaning over your shoulder and insisting you “clean your plate?” Many of us are programmed to eat everything on our plate: “It’s rude not to finish those potatoes you scooped up.” “It’s frivolous to waste that extra piece of ham you’re not a fan of.” Don’t listen to those voices in your head. You are in charge of your health and you are responsible for what you choose to put in your mouth. Not hungry? Don’t like it? Don’t eat it.
Tip #9: Skip the Eggnog
Just one cup of eggnog has almost 400 calories and 20 grams of fat. Made with heavy cream and rum, this festive drink will have you packing on the pounds in no-time. If you’re craving a creamy holiday cocktail, opt for Spiked Hot Chocolate or try a low-fat version, like Skinny Eggnog.
Tip #10: Bring a Cute Clutch
Although this tip might sound bizarre, it is a tried-and-true method for avoiding holiday weight gain. Hold a clutch in one hand and a drink in the other. When you’re hands are occupied, it’s tough to reach for that fried egg roll or mini quiche. Do yourself a favor and pick up a cute clutch for your next holiday shindig.