When it comes to healthy eating, the holidays can be a confusing time. How do you stick to a healthy diet when many of your favorite seasonal foods simply aren’t healthy?
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Even worse, you might think you’re making a healthy choice, just to find out the holiday foods and drinks disguised as “healthy” actually are not. (Think sweet potatoes loaded with marshmallows and cranberry juice cocktails.)
But don’t worry, it’s possible to enjoy yourself without going overboard or undoing your healthy habits. Here’s 7 smart tips for healthy eating during the holidays:
1. Eat beforehand
Eat a salad with fiber-filled toppings or a satisfying nutritious snack before you head to your holiday party. If you show up ravenous, you’re more likely to grab whatever party snacks are the closest — and those treats aren’t always the healthiest. But if you get plenty of fiber and protein beforehand, you’ll have mental clarity to think through your food choices.
2. Keep a colorful plate
Fill your plate with bright fruits and veggies like grapes, spinach, salad, Brussel sprouts, asparagus, squash, and cranberries. Just beware of canned cranberries or cranberry sauces, which are full of added sugars. Sweet potatoes can be another great option, but try to steer clear of the dishes topped with sugary marshmallows.
If you head back to the table with your plate and notice it’s colorless and bland, that may mean you overloaded your plate with carbs.
3. Go lean
When choosing a protein for your holiday meal, stick to leaner options like fish, shrimp, or turkey. White meat is usually leaner than dark meat, but either way, just don’t slather it with gravy.
4. Be mindful of sugar content
No need to shy away from the dessert table; just grab one or two half-servings of your favorite treats. If you have a sweet tooth and know you won’t be able to resist all of the post-dinner desserts, then help keep your sugar balances in check. Taking a natural supplement along with Nutrafol’s Sugar Balance booster can help you maintain a healthy sugar metabolism, and you may also notice a curb in your sugar and carbohydrate cravings throughout the season.
5. Drink with caution
If you plan on indulging in holiday cocktails, pay close attention to what the liquors are mixed with — there are lots of hidden calories in mixed drinks. Choose a drink without mixers or mix your liquor with seltzer, 100% tomato juice, or 100% cranberry juice (not cranberry juice cocktail, which is loaded with added sugars and syrups for extra sweetness). Try alternating between water and alcoholic beverages to minimize your alcohol intake and stay hydrated. You can also take a liver support supplement to help neutralize damaging toxins you may consume.
6. Savor your food
Really concentrate on your meal while you’re eating it. Remind yourself to take in the smell, taste, and texture of each bite, so you don’t end up mindlessly popping high-calorie foods into your mouth without even getting a chance to enjoy them.
7. Don’t be too hard on yourself
Remember: The holidays are about enjoying your time with family and friends. Don’t deny yourself a bite of your favorite holiday food or stress out over “slipping up.”
Instead of obsessing over healthy eating, focus more on keeping a healthy mindset. Holiday celebrations only occur a few days out of the year, so relax, celebrate, eat the foods you love, and know you’ll be able to get back to your healthy eating habits for your next meal.