July 13, 2024

10 Tips for Healthful Holiday Eating by Marc Sickel

With the holidays upon us, here are 10 tips to avoid overeating.

Exercise more in weeks before the holidays. This will help you burn extra calories that you may eat during the holidays or periods of stress.

Eat breakfast. This will help control your hunger throughout the day and help you avoid overindulging. 

Lighten up the recipes. Try using alternative ingredients in your favorite recipes to cut down on the calories.

Watch your portion sizes. Skip the temptation of a second helping and enjoy a dessert instead. There will be leftovers for tomorrow to enjoy again!

Slowly savor your food. Eating slowly will help you to feel full and satisfied without over-indulging.

Don’t skip meals. Before leaving for a party, eat a light snack like raw vegetables or a piece of fruit to curb your appetite. You will be less tempted to over-indulge.

Bring your own healthy dish to a holiday gathering. Doing so will eliminate pressure to partake of unhealthy foods, as well as offering a nutritious option to all attending.

Survey party buffets before filling your plate. Choose your favorite foods and skip your least favorite. Include vegetables and fruits to keep your plate balanced.

Be realistic. Don’t try to lose pounds during the holidays, instead try to maintain your current weight.

If you overeat at one meal go light on the next. It takes 500 calories per day (or 3,500 calories per week) above your normal/maintenance consumption to gain one pound. It is impossible to gain weight from one piece of pie!

For many people, holidays and family gatherings are a time for celebration. These celebrations often involve foods that are high in fat, sugar and calories and short on nutrition. With a few minor changes, however, special occasion foods can be both delicious and nutritious.

Marc Sickel, a certified athletic trainer and founder of Fitness for Health located in Rockville, MD, specializes in creating fun, individualized fitness programs for children and adults with varying needs and skill levels.   To learn more about Fitness for Health, visit www.FitnessForHealth.org.