Wellness & Education

Wellness & Education

Pumpkin Pie, Oh My: Healthy Eating for the Holidays

We all have that favorite food: something our grandmother always made, the dish a friend brought over years ago--that’s become an indispensable part of the Thanksgiving meal. Every holiday meal is usually delicious, usually evokes good memories and usually isn’t at all good for you. The average caloric value of a Thanksgiving plate is staggering. So how do you maintain a healthy diet during a traditionally unhealthy season? We know how important a balanced diet is to your overall health, and how tempting holiday foods can be, which is why we’ve assembled some tips for eating healthy this season.

1. Limit Snacking

Holiday Diet GuideWhether you’re preparing the meal or sitting in the kitchen staring at that plate of Christmas cookies, try to avoid snacking on heavy foods and sweets. Little nibbles here and there can add up over the period of days and weeks, especially if they’re not part of your normal diet. Limit your indulgences to actual meals, and opt for healthier snacks like vegetables and rice cakes during the day; this will reduce the number of calories the holidays tend to add.

2. Take Small Portions

When you are eating big meals, don’t feel like you have to avoid every dish that has butter or sugar in it. Cutting out your favorite foods isn’t a practical way to celebrate the holidays. Instead, take small portions. Eat slowly and savor the flavors you love so much. You'll be better able to recognize when you're full and it's time to stop.

3. Drink Lots of Water

Drink lots of water before and with your meals. Most nutritionists focus on the side dishes and desserts as being the calorie culprets of holiday meals, but a cocktail, soda or sweet ice tea with meals can add up. A few glasses of water can also help combat your hunger and appetite, taking up space a second piece of pie might otherwise occupy.

4. Give Away Leftovers

If you celebrated with friends or family, don’t let them leave empty-handed! A casserole has as many grams of fat as calories when it’s reheated the next day. Giving away a significant portion of your leftovers will keep you from having a second, third or fourth Thanksgiving meal as the weekend continues.

5. Enjoy Yourself

Watching what you eat is a healthy way to live the vast majority of the time, but don’t forget to celebrate a little over the holidays. If you’re generally careful about nutrition, indulging in some less-than-healthy foods a few days a year won’t hurt. In fact, the holidays can be a wonderful excuse to reward yourself. So remember to enjoy that favorite dish your grandmother always made! You only get the chance once a year.

We at Women’s Healthcare Associates know the importance of a healthy diet. If you’re interested in talking more about maintaining a healthy lifestyle during the holidays and after, contact a provider here today!

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