The end of the year holidays tend to be one of the most anticipated times of the year. Friends, family, lights and gift giving provide just a few reasons to love this season. Oh…and the food! Whether you eat vegan, gluten free, or just try to maintain a healthy and balanced diet, the holidays are sure to bring out some of your favorite treats. While the food at holiday parties and family gatherings can be incredibly delicious, it can also provide a challenge for those trying to maintain their lifestyle of healthful eating.
Here are a few healthy holiday eating tips that will help you enjoy this special time of year, without feeling like you can’t enjoy any of the seasonal goodies.
- Eat Before the Party
One of the worst things that you can do is starve yourself the entire day leading up to a party. This causes overeating once you finally get to the meal, and at that point you often aren’t even in control of what you’ll be eating. In order to prevent this, be sure that you have a few healthy meals throughout the day leading up to the event. If you really want to make sure that you don’t overeat, try eating a full meal right before the party. That way you’ll already be full when you get there, and are much less likely to overindulge on unhealthy holiday treats.
- Don’t Stand Next to the Snack Table
Another big mistake is standing too close to the table that houses everything you’re trying to avoid. Sure you should have some of your favorite holiday treats, but if you spend the whole evening right next to the table, there’s a much higher probability that you’ll eat more than you would like. To prevent this, make a trip to the snacks to grab a few goodies on a napkin or small plate, but then go somewhere else. It is surprising how much you’ll eat without even wanting to if the food is right in front of you, so do your best to just avoid the table whenever possible.
- Save Your Calories for Treats You Really Love
It’s probably inevitable that you’ll eat a bit more over the holidays than you normally would, but you can still keep it within reason. Rather than trying everything at the party, make an effort to limit yourself to just a few of your favorite treats. Doing this still lets you enjoy what you love and keeps you from feeling restricted, but it prevents calorie overloading so that you’ll still be feeling good long after the party is over.
- Don’t Forget to Drink Water
With so many food and drink options, it’s quite easy to forget to drink water over the holidays. Not only does drinking water provide health benefits by itself, but it also fills you up and prevents the intake of extra calories. Try drinking a glass of water before a meal or party and you’ll be surprised at how little you’ll need to eat to feel full. Another idea is to try to limit the number of high calorie drinks, and instead drink water. Drinks can often contain hundreds of calories, which can quickly add up to a few thousand after a couple nights of celebrating, so be sure to balance it out with a few glasses of water here and there as well.
- Remember the Healthy Snacks
It’s important to realize that although you eat a lot of different foods this time of the year, it shouldn’t mean that you have to alter your diet completely. Remembering to eat healthy snacks in between meals (that often aren’t very healthy) is a great way to keep at least some control of your diet. Natural foods, high in fiber, protein and complex carbs such as nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables make some of the best choices to solve the in-between meal munchies. Some of our favorite snacks, that combine all these healthy and organic ingredients are bite and Meal bars from PROBAR.
Follow these helpful tips and you’ll be able to enjoy all the incredible foods that often only come around once each year, but at the same time save yourself from feeling like you’ve taken a break from healthy eating.
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