by Julie Cornelius, MS
The holidays are a time when we come together with our family and friends to celebrate. Most traditions and celebrations involve large amounts of food. Eating healthy during this time can be a challenge with so much food available. Did you know that the average holiday meal can have on average between 2500-3200 calories? And the average Thanksgiving dinner has 100 grams of added sugar? Here are my top tips for sticking with your healthy eating habits during the holiday season
- Eat slowly and savor every bite- This is advice that can help keep from overeating year round. Many holiday foods are very rich and full of fat and sugar. These things add a lot of flavor, but also a lot of calories and unhealthy fats. Eating slowly can help you to enjoy the food and prevent you from eating too much.
- Aim for smaller portions of each food– There are so many different delicious foods around the holidays. Enjoy them, but don’t go overboard. Use Tip #1 and savor each one with just a small serving.
- Along those same lines, choose one desert and have just a small serving- Or have a small bite of a few different kinds. Certain deserts are a little healthier than others, too. Choose pumpkin pie, which tends to have less fat, sugar and calories than apple or pecan. Also, skip the whipped cream!
- Snack on fruits and veggies before big holiday dinners-Fill up on some healthy foods before a big meal to avoid overeating on less healthy foods. If you are hosting, put out a big fruit and veggie platter for your guests. If you are a guest at friends and families house, bring a platter with you! Its a gesture that will be appreciated and offers a healthy option for you to snack on.
- Limit or avoid alcohol– We all enjoy a drink during festivities, but having too much can add a lot of unwanted calories. Watch out for some of the traditional holiday drinks like eggnog that can have over 300 calories per serving- and that’s before adding in any alcohol!
- Skip the seconds, enjoy them as leftovers instead!- Who doesn’t love holiday leftovers? Make yourself a healthy Thanksgiving turkey wrap on Friday with a whole grain tortilla, leftover white meat turkey, lots of fresh veggies and a little bit of leftover cranberry sauce!
- Get outside and get moving before, during and after the holidays!- Eating a few extra holiday treats is not going to pack on a lot of extra pounds if you stick to your exercise and training routine. Get the family involved for some healthy holiday fun!
Most importantly, enjoy the holidays with friends and family! Happy Thanksgiving and have a great holiday season from the Potential Energy Team!
Julie Cornelius, MS is Co-founder of Potential Energy Training & Nutrition. She has an extensive background in nutrition and graduated from the University of Arizona in Tucson, AZ with both her Bachelors of Science and Masters of Science in Nutrition. She has worked in fitness studios helping clients achieve their nutrition goals, spent two years teaching college nutrition courses, and was the founder of Julie Bar, an energy bar company. Julie is a long time cyclist and mountain biker who loves being outdoors. Julie helps individuals to meet their nutrition goals, whether it is eating to win an endurance mountain bike race, losing weight, or just eating to be healthier. Connect with Julie: firstname.lastname@example.org.