The holidays bring family, friends, togetherness…and lots of food, much of it laden with sugar and fat. So how can you manage to enjoy yourself without needing Santa-sized pants by New Year’s?

  • If you know you’ve got a holiday party coming up with lots of goodies, decide ahead of time what you’re going to eat (1-2 cookies, one small plate of hors d’oeuvres, 1-2 alcoholic beverages, etc.). You might also want to quietly eat a healthier meal before so you don’t go there hungry. Either way, make your food decisions before you get there so you can enjoy some indulgences but not go crazy. You may also want to avoid food-laden areas and make the event one where you spend more of your time talking than eating.
  • Make some swaps. A little searching on the internet can help you find far healthier alternatives to some of your holiday favorites without sacrificing flavor. You don’t have to forsake apple pie entirely — look around for a lighter version and make that or go for baked apples with cinnamon and light whipped topping,. Fortunately, healthy can still mean tasty if you do your homework.
  • Savor the flavor. Too often we see the food and dump a heaping helping onto our plates, then mindlessly eat the whole thing while not paying attention. The answer? Slow down! Take smaller portions of what you truly want and enjoy each bite, truly tasting the food instead of bolting it down. Do take time to savor it and enjoy it. Plus, you’ll help yourself by paying attention to your body’s signals you feel full before overeating.
  • Get moving. Hit the gym, take an after-dinner walk, find the farthest spot in the store parking lot … just make sure as the temperature drops, you don’t entirely hibernate. Taking a stroll before or after a meal lets you feel as though you “earned” it a little more, plus it helps keep your metabolism up and lets your body convert some of that food into needed energy for your exercise.

You can enjoy the holidays without going overboard on your eating if you prepare before the food is in front of you. For any other wellness tips, visit Medical Professionals.

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