Healthy Holiday Eating

By: Dianna Yanchis, BSc (Nutrition) Candidate
Reviewed by Andrea Miller MHSc, RD

Holidays bring family and friends together to celebrate traditions and spread holiday cheer. They also bring many opportunities for socializing and festive feasts. This makes sticking to your healthy eating plans very challenging. Here are a few ideas to help you enjoy your favourite foods while saving some room for healthy eating.

1.    Plan to be active.  Try to go for a 10-15 minute brisk walk twice a day to help offset the increased holiday eating. Exercise helps decrease holiday stress and prevent weight gain. 

2.    Don’t skip meals. Try having a light snack before leaving for a party; you will be less tempted to over-indulge.

3.    Be mindful. Eat until you are satisfied, not stuffed. Eat slowly, and when you’ve had enough, put away your plate.

4.    Enjoy your favourite holiday treats in small portions.  To control portion sizes, one good tip is to use a smaller plate.

5.    Don’t put all the focus on food. The holidays are a great time to play board games, cards or make crafts with family and friends. Food may be a large part of the holidays, but it does not always have to be the main focus.

6.    Drink in moderation.  Enjoy a glass of red wine or eggnog, but remember to stick to the recommended drinking guidelines
(no more than 2 standard drinks per drinking occasion). Try to alternate alcoholic drinks with lower-calorie beverages like water with lemon to stay hydrated.

7.    Try making a holiday season resolution. Don’t wait for January 1st to start your New Year’s resolution, try making a change in your lifestyle during this busy time of year. Here are some ideas: go for a walk after dinner, have a healthy breakfast each morning, learn to menu plan, or be sure to get enough sleep.

Remember to enjoy the holidays, plan to be physically active, include healthy recipes into your holiday menu, and don’t restrict yourself from enjoying your favourite holiday foods.  Happy healthy holiday eating!

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