The holidays can be a tough time to keep nutrition and health goals at the forefront of your mind. With so much going on, a healthy lifestyle often gets pushed to the back burner. Even with other priorities, there is still room for good health and proper nutrition. The trick is to simplify. Instead of saying “I’ll lose five pounds this month”, say, “I’ll exercise 30 minutes five days a week”. Instead of saying “I’m only going to eat healthy food”, say, “I’m going to make half my plate fruit and veggies. During the holiday season, focus on small, realistic goals rather than big, long-term goals.
Fruitsandveggiesmorematters.gov shares five tips to eat healthy-ish during the holidays:
- Eat breakfast. A well-balanced breakfast helps jump start your day and maintian energy levels. If you skip breakfast, you are more likely to binge eat later in the day.
- Focus on fruit and veggies. Fruits and veggies should cover half your plate every day of the year! If you’ve been doing that all year long, keeping momentum during the holidays will be a breeze.
- Stay hydrated. When your schedule is altered due to christmas shopping, holiday parties, and wrapping presents, your eating and drinking habits are likely altered, too. You may find that you’re not drinking enough water. Keep a water bottle handy to remind yourself to drink.
- Be mindful. Mindful eating is a great tool all year long! Enjoying a taste of your favorite holiday dish is not the same thing as over-indulging on your favorite holiday dish. Slow down and embrace what your eating. Enjoy every bite, and stop when you feel satisfied. You can read more about mindful eating and managing holiday indulgences by clicking here and here.
- Move on. Maybe you blew it, realizing that your diet was horrible and you didn’t exercise once. Get over it! Don’t let it start you into a downward spiral. Get back on track, headed toward a healthy lifestyle.
Another way to manage your nutrition during the holidays is to take steps to make holiday foods just a bit healthier. You may remember this post from last month about holiday food swaps. I put those tips to use in a sugar cookie recipe.
It’s a cookie. There’s still sugar and calories, but with a simple swap to whole wheat flour, and no trans-fat it’s become healthy-ish. How will you be healthy-ish this holiday season? Happy holidays!
Certified Nutrition Education Assistant