The holiday season is approaching fast. For many, this means extra time with family and friends, shopping for the best bargains and some time off from work. It also means good food – and lots of it.
To counteract the latter, here are six hacks for a healthier holiday season.
1. Opt for homemade meals.
Cooking your own meals presents an opportunity to control what goes into the food. Consider healthier alternatives – like using milk instead of cream in mashed potatoes – when preparing your meals. Also, think about integrating new health-conscious dishes into your repertoire. For example, add extra vegetable dishes in place of dense, carb-heavy sides.
2. Control portion sizes.
Start by using a smaller plate if you have one available. Then, ensure you’re reaching for items that span all food groups. Eating an assortment of vegetables, proteins, fruits and carbs will prevent you from stocking up on the unhealthy items available.
3. Indulge reasonably.
Go ahead, have some dessert! But, try to stick with one choice from the dessert table. This will help you avoid feelings of deprivation without breaking the caloric bank.
4. Don’t forget to drink water.
Try to drink a glass of water before each meal. Water can help you feel fuller longer, control your appetite and occupy your hands and mouth so you aren’t tempted to overeat.
5. Choose snacks wisely.
Eating snacks throughout the day can help curb your appetite. Just make sure to pick healthy ones, like fruit or nuts. Also, consider eating a small, healthy snack before leaving for a holiday party so you're less likely to overeat at the party.
6. Don’t forget about exercise.
While this time of year is often packed with activities, try not to let your exercise regimen slip. Even a short walk can help make a difference in how you feel.
Happy (healthy) holidays to you and yours!