Healthy holiday eating tips and tricks

These simple suggestions can help keep you on track when good food is everywhere.

By: Sanford Health News .

Family eating together at holiday table
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It can be challenging to maintain a healthy holiday eating routine during this season with endless parties, food and other social gatherings. These simple tips can help keep you on track regardless of your situation.

Snack sensibly

Don’t starve yourself if you’re hungry. Consider having a small snack to keep you going until mealtime.

Leave some room

Don’t eat everything at once. Instead, plan to save leftovers. This can help you eat less at mealtime and is a great option to save time preparing a future meal.

Choose your cheats

You’ll be surrounded by many enticing options when it comes to food. Pick ahead of time a few of your favorite foods to splurge on. This will help you avoid overloading in the moment.

Stay active

The holidays don’t have to mean an exercise hiatus. Take a walk with family or set a goal to maintain your regular exercise routine.

Prioritize protein

Eat your protein first. Consuming protein first can help fill you up more quickly which will deter you from over-eating in the future.

Enjoy company

Engage in conversation and eat slowly. This will allow your brain to register that you’re filling up. It takes your body time to realize you might not be hungry anymore.

Plan ahead

Having a good idea of what and how much you will eat ahead of time can help reduce impulsively making bad decisions.

Say no

If your body is telling you you’ve had enough, listen! It’s OK to say no, your body will thank you for it later.

Calorie considerations

It can be hard to think about calories when you have a piece of pumpkin pie staring you in the face. But, in addition to following these tips for healthy holiday eating, being mindful of how many calories that pie or festive drink has will help you make smarter decisions.

Pie (per slice)

  • Pecan: 443 calories, 23 grams of fat
  • Pumpkin: 330 calories, 12 grams of fat
  • Apple: 320 calories, 15 grams of fat

Beverages (per 8 ounces)

  • Egg nog: 340 calories, 19 grams of fat
  • Hot chocolate: 180 calories, 7 grams of fat