Healthy eating during the holidays
The holidays are a time for gathering with family and friends, enjoying each other’s company and preparing your favorite family recipes. But it can also be difficult to stick with your goals, whether health or performance. Lisa Money, RDN, offered some tips for how to stay on track during the holidays.
Don’t arrive hungry. Showing up at a party hungry sounds like a good idea, but it is probably one of the worst things you can do. This will lead to eating too fast and overeating. Instead, eat a small snack of protein, healthy fat and carbohydrates to curb your appetite. A great example is an apple with peanut butter or nuts.
Notice when you are hungry and full. Hanging out around the food tends to lead to picking at food when you’re not even hungry. Instead, make a plate and find a spot away from the food to sit, socialize and eat. If you’re truly hungry, you can eat seconds. Otherwise, enjoy your company.
Take advantage of the fall bounty. Think of holiday meals as you would any other meal:
- One-quarter of your plate should be protein
- One-quarter to one-third of your plate should be grains (amount depends on your activity level)
- Plenty of colorful fall veggies like sweet potatoes, squash, broccoli, and spinach
- Small amounts of gravy or fat
This allows your body to get the nutrients it needs, feel full and energized and enjoy the meal without becoming overly full.
Try this for your next holiday meal:
- 3–4 ounces skinless turkey breast
- 1/3 cup stuffing
- 1/3 cup mashed sweet or white potatoes
- 1/2 cup squash
- 1 cup broccoli
Remember to stay active, even in the cold. Starting turkey day off with a brisk walk or workout gets those endorphins flowing and sets the stage for the rest of the day. It will put you in a healthier mindset. A great idea is to make a family tradition of running a 5K in the morning, such as a Turkey Trot!
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