Having a Healthier Holiday Season

I know that is just now the beginning of November, but in case you haven't noticed Thanksgiving is in 16 days and then Christmas is in 45 days. That means that there are lots of celebrations, family gathers and time spent around food in the next 1 1/2 months. 

It is time to put together a plan so that you are prepared to have a healthier and hopefully happier holiday season. I absolutely love fall and celebrating Thanksgiving, but with this time of year comes lots of delicious food and often less physical activity. I have included with tips that might help you actually make some healthy choices over the next 1 1/2 months. 

  • Don't skip breakfast! Starting off your day with a healthy breakfast will help you to eat less and make sure you are focused on making healthy choices. The key is to start that process of putting healthy foods into your mouth at the beginning of the day. 
  • Aim for 3 meals a day with snacks. Think about it as eating every 3-4 hours. Eating these small meals/snacks more frequently will help with keeping your blood sugar and energy levels steady throughout the day. Also if you have a party to attend, you can avoid arriving famished and eating everything in sight. This will equip you to have more self-control. 
  • Stay hydrated. make sure that you are consuming low calorie beverages and not just filling up on alcoholic drinks. That can be tempting with holiday parties, but those alcoholic drinks can be loaded with extra calories. Sometimes making a trade off can be helpful to limit your empty calorie intake. Promise to do 30 minutes of physical activity for every drink you consume. This can be a good way to motivate yourself to be active and still enjoy a delicious mixed drink in moderation.
  • Portion your plate. Make sure to keep the MyPlate in mind as you fill your plate at the next holiday gathering. Try to fill 1/2 your plate with fruit and vegetables, limit your protein to about 1/4 of the plate and the other 1/4 for grains. Filling up on the vegetables, provide nutrient dense and low calories options for meals. Save a small part of your plate for your favorite dessert or treat, because it is the holiday season and everyone loves a treat. 

Check out the MyPlate Holiday Handout below for some other great recommendations about making healthier holiday substitutions.