Eating Healthy During Gatherings and Holidays

Results may vary.

We all know eating healthy is good for us, but it can be so hard on a regular day. During all the family gatherings and holidays, it can feel nearly impossible! While a few indulgences won’t wreck your overall health, it can make it easy to get entirely off track. We’ve put together our top five tips on how to make healthy eating a part of your holiday traditions this year. 

  1. Eat breakfast. It’s a common misconception that skipping a meal like breakfast will actually help you in the long run. While we think that missing out on those extra calories early on will make up for the extra calories we plan to eat at a big holiday meal, skipping breakfast actually makes us more likely to overeat later on. This is where you find yourself mindlessly munching as you prep food or going back for seconds or thirds at dinnertime. Skipping a meal also makes your body go into a sort of starvation mode, where it feels like it has to hold onto as many calories as it can, which can negatively affect your weight loss goals. Eating a nutritious and filling breakfast is an important first step in getting the day off on the right foot. 
  2. Eat lots of fruits and veggies. Meat and carbs tend to be the stars of Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations, and while turkey and mashed potatoes are important, fall fruits and vegetables like apples, brussel sprouts, butternut squash, and others are too. When you’re adding fruits and vegetables into your meal plan for the holidays, just make sure you’re not loading them up too much with butter, creamy sauces, or sticking them into an unhealthy casserole. 
  3. Find “skinny versions” of your holiday favorites. We know that last bit about making sure you’re not putting fruits and vegetables into an unhealthy casserole is a hard thing for Southerners to take. Casseroles and other creamy dishes like them aren’t inherently bad, but they can pack on extra calories and defeat the purpose of adding fruits and veggies in. However, they are holiday favorites, and we get that. See if you can find a “skinny” or more healthy version of your mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, and desserts instead. 
  4. Find time for exercise. The holidays are all about hustle and bustle it seems like, and it can be hard to find time to exercise. Do your best to stick to your regular exercise routine as many days as possible. If you normally go to the gym for 30 minutes in the morning and don’t know if you’ll have that much time, go for just 10 minutes instead. It keeps you in the habit of going, and you’re still able to get some activity, but you save yourself a little time too. Try to incorporate exercise into family activities too like walking with family after a big meal to look at holiday decorations, playing minute to win it games with your family, or other ideas that keep all of you moving in a fun way.  
  5. Drink water. With so much going on, it can be easy to forget to drink water. Water keeps you feeling full and satiated though and can help prevent you from overheating. Water also has other benefits like helping you lose weight, fighting off bad breath, fighting off that nasty cold, and boosting your metabolism. 

Remember that food is fuel for your body! Indulge in the time together and push back from the table. You got this!

  • Please note:
    • This blog is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
    • This information does not constitute medical advice and it should not be relied upon as such. Consult with your doctor before modifying your regular medical regime.