From the day that the Thanksgiving turkey gets served to the first day of the New Year, it seems that our everyday lives are a blur of parties, large holiday dinners, and holiday-flavored coffee drinks that are bad news for our waistlines and our wallets. Here are five ways to help you eat as healthy as possible this holiday season.
Traveling this holiday season? Avoid the high-calorie packaged food served on busses, trains, and airplanes by packing your own! Packing your own snacks also helps with portion control— if you pack your own portions of healthy snacks, like pretzels, Goldfish, nuts, or fresh fruit, you can avoid eating more than the serving size of a snack!
2.Limit Alcohol Intake
We know, ’tis the season for cheer, and after a hard day of shopping, caroling or meeting with extended family, sitting down with a glass of wine and the Bachelor is a great feeling— but consider limiting your alcohol intake. One six-ounce glass of red wine is around 144 calories, which would take the average American woman about 17 minutes of jogging to burn off. Think before you drink!
3.Try to Eat a Variety of Foods at Holiday Dinners
When it comes time to sit down and eat the big holiday dinner of the season, whether that is Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa, try to vary the foods you eat. Eat a balanced amount of grains, protein, and fruits and vegetables. Even if you do eat a little more than you should, try to make most of it as healthy as possible.
4.What’s in Your Coffee?
There is nothing quite like a venti Peppermint Mocha Frappuccino or a Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks around this time of year, but think about it for a second— consider drinking an iced, black coffee with your own additions of cream and sugar (and maybe a couple of pumps of peppermint syrup, if you still want that good ‘ol holiday cheer.) A cup of black coffee has just two calories and zero grams of fat, compared to the 290 calories and 13 grams in the smallest Peppermint Mocha Frappuccino. Sure, the taste won’t be exactly the same, but it’s a much healthier option.
Headed to a holiday party? Eat a meal or a snack first! Just like you wouldn’t go shopping on an empty stomach, consider also having a filling, healthy snack like nuts, an apple with peanut butter, or a fiber bar before you hit the holiday party. Even if you do snack a little while you’re there, having a full stomach means you can spend less time catching up on missed meals and more time catching up with friends or relatives that you’ve missed.