Who doesn’t love enjoying a special holiday meal or treat? Good food and good memories just naturally go together. The trick is to enjoy the flavors of the season without overdoing it. Here are 10 healthy holiday eating tips aimed to help you eat merry and right!
Healthy Holiday Eating Tips: How to Enjoy Yourself and Feel Good
1. Make a plan. Perhaps one of the smart healthy holiday eating tips: set goals for yourself. These could be as simple as being sure you are staying active, keeping lots of fresh produce in your refrigerator, or limiting how many holiday treats you enjoy with your afternoon cup of coffee. If you’re going to be attending several events, keep in mind what is most likely to tempt you. Also, be sure you aren’t skipping meals.
2. Beware of buffets! It can be hard to resist food when it is so accessible and all your senses are on alert. Eat the veggies first, and chew slowly so your brain can realize when you are full. Before taking seconds, take 10. Breathe!
3. Don’t skip your favorites. Healthy holiday eating tips are meant to help you feel good, not ruin your celebrations. So, if it’s just not the holidays without a slice of your best friend’s chocolate pie, or dressing from the turkey, treat yourself. Just do so with a smaller plate, so your portions will be smaller as well.
4. Get your zzzz’s. Rest is always important, especially when you’re trying to keep your appetite in check. Sleep Foundation reports that lack of sleep can create an imbalance in the body that causes you to feel hungrier during the day and may lead to a higher calorie intake. So avoid going to bed later than normal and, if you’re in the mood for a nap, take it! Consider it a gift to yourself.
5. Spend time with people who have good habits. We all know people who tend to eat too many snack foods in one sitting or imbibe a bit too much in the evening. Their habits can rub off on us if we are not careful. Instead, think about friends who are good at enjoying themselves without overdoing. Follow their lead and chances are your evenings will be more pleasant—and you’ll feel better the next morning!
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6. Party healthy. Drink a glass of water before you go to a party. Maybe even have a light healthy snack so you don’t arrive hungry. Don’t stand right next to the food table. Focus more on the company, decorations and good conversation instead of the tempting appetizers.
7. Be a healthy hostess. If it’s your turn to entertain, give some thought to ways to balancing flavorful foods with nutritious choices. Chop up some raw veggies and pair them with hummus and pita bread. Serve a fruit salad. Include some protein, such as chicken strips or sushi. A bowl of healthy nuts, such as pistachios, almonds, or cashews is a good idea.
8. Slow down. It’s easy to bypass healthy holiday eating tips when you’re moving too fast. The holidays can feel like a whirlwind that seems to gain speed as the days go by. Keep yourself grounded so you don’t get depleted. Try some meditation, yoga or Tai chi to help you keep in check. You want to do many things, but mostly, you want to be in good health to enjoy the season.
9. Find joy in things besides food. A cookie or brownie now and then is great. But there are so many other things that can bring you happiness. Helping others is a great start: spend time with an older adult who doesn’t have family. Volunteer to wrap presents. Organize an adopt-a-child toy drive. Help decorate a tree for a friend. Focus on the joy of the season and fill yourself up that way.
10. Relax. Follow a regular healthy diet as much as you can, but don’t make it a punishment. Retirement is a time for exploration and joy. In fact, at St. Mark Village, we like to say live the good life, and retire without worry. Our residents celebrate wellness of mind, body and spirit every day of the year, with the added gift of seamless access to future care options. We welcome you to learn more!
At St. Mark Village, we believe wellness is a lifestyle—and we are here to help you make the most of it! Download our free guide, Successful Transitions to Senior Living, or contact us. We’d love to hear from you!