December, 2019 — Healthy Eating During the Holidays

Posted by West Linn-Wilsonville on 12/17/2019 2:00:00 PM

Eating healthy during the holiday season is difficult for everyone.  With all the festivities and parties, food is everywhere.  Unfortunately, most of it is not healthy. During the six weeks from Thanksgiving to New Year’s, people gain anywhere from 1-3 pounds. This may not seem like a significant amount, but extra weight over time puts you at risk for: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high triglycerides, increases in blood sugar, increases in insulin levels, and diabetes. With a few tips and simple strategies, eating over the holidays, need not be an issue for you and your family.

Tips for eating healthy

  1. Keep to a normal schedule — If you usually eat three meals and snacks, stick to that schedule. Eating light throughout the day, so you can go all out at a holiday meal or party, will only result in overeating. Sticking to your normal meal schedule will prevent you from being hungry, and allow you to enjoy your holiday meals without overeating.
  2. Choose wisely — Don’t eat everything. When you get to a party look at the options. Be choosy and select the foods you really love and don’t get to eat very often.
  3. Take smaller portions — By selecting small portions or just a bite, you can sample more foods and not feel like you are missing out.
  4. Offer plenty of fruits and vegetables at holiday meals — Fruits and vegetables make great snacks and are usually high in fiber. Choosing high fiber foods will help to reduce the amount of calories you consume.
  5. Take 10 — Before going for seconds, give yourself 10 minutes to see if you are really still hungry. It takes a few minutes for your brain to get the signal you are full. Talk with family, play a game, go for a quick walk. Then reassess your hunger status.  You may realize you are full or only want a tiny portion of seconds.
  6. Organize a family activity — Planning physical activities during the holiday season not only provides quality family time but helps to maintain healthy habits. At a family gathering suggest a walk after dinner or before dessert.  And if you are at a party, put on your dancing shoes and get moving!
  7. Keep in mind what really matters — Food is undoubtedly a big part of the holidays, but remember to put the focus on family, friends and holiday cheer. 

With balance, moderation and these healthy tips as your guide, hopefully eating during the holiday season will not be too overwhelming for you and your family.  Indulging and overeating once in a while is okay.  Don’t beat yourself up.  Just remember to get back to your healthy eating habits as quickly as possible.