Our Community Dietitian’s Healthy Holiday Tips

During the holidays we want you to enjoy the food you eat, but also keep your health in mind. We have some top tips from our Community Dietitian, Sandra Acevedo, MPH, RD to support you with making healthy choices during the holidays!

Don’t skip meals. Eating 3 full meals a day is an important strategy in letting you keep your healthy eating goals. If you skip meals, you are more likely to get hungry and overeat in your next meals. Also, it’s easier to choose unhealthy foods when hungry and overeat them. If you know you’re going to a tempting feast don’t show up hungry, this can help you make healthier food choices. 

Incorporate vegetables. Veggies are your friends during the holidays. A lot of the holiday dishes are high in calories. Veggies are low in calories and help you feel full longer because they are high in fiber.  They can also help strengthen your immune system during the holidays because they are rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Folate, and Iron. Don’t skip them during this season. 

Acknowledge when you are full. It’s very easy to overeat during the holidays, especially when we have such delicious food in front of us. Okinawans practice “hara hachi bu”, a mindful eating approach that tells us to stop when we are about 80% full. This practice promotes health and longevity. Let’s focus on the other important parts of the holidays, sharing with family and being grateful for all that we have. 

Avoid Sugary Holiday Drinks. Sugary drinks like sodas, fruit juices, energy drinks and our holiday favorites eggnog and hot chocolate will use up your calories in a second, calories you could be saving for delicious food.  You are also more likely to consume extra calories when you have sugary drinks since your body does not register liquid calories the same way as solid food (when it comes to satiety). You want to try eggnog, go ahead and try it, but keep most sweet drinks to no more than 1/2 cup serving. Sugary drinks on average tend to have 7-10 tsp. The recommended amount for women is 6 tsp and for men 8 tsp a day.  Also, by staying away from sugary drinks you are reducing your risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease. https://youtu.be/myxwCEGcBYc 

Don’t Get Stuck. Physical activity will help to keep your weight off during the holidays. Don’t skip your workouts. It can also help you deal with the stress that might come from this holiday season. Physical activity will also help us deal better with seasonal depression, which some individuals suffer from during the winter months. Finally exercise will help you to maintain you in a good mood and keep you on track with your health goals.