How to Eat Healthy During the Holidays

By: Jessica Roberts

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, as well as all the winter holidays coming up in the  next month. Tables will be filled with delicious feasts and treats, but devouring all that junk will add unwanted pounds. However, it is possible to eat healthy during the holidays!

For starters, know that there is no way to make it through the holiday season without eating some unhealthy foods. No one is perfect, so keep in mind that it is ok to splurge a little. However, don’t have the mindset that if you eat one bad thing in a day that you might as well give up for the whole day and eat everything in sight.

When at a party, head for the fruit and veggie trays first. Fill most of your plate with these vitamin-packed, low-calorie foods, so you’ll be less likely to pile on fattening cheeses, breads, and dips. Don’t go overboard on ranch dressing for the veggies or marshmallow dip for fruits.

At a buffet-style dinner, just sample a little bit of everything. If there are 20 dishes at the potluck, and you want to try 17 of them, getting an entire serving of each is way too much food. Take only a small spoonful of each. If you’re still hungry after sampling, go back and get a little more of your favorite dishes.

If you’re participating in the potluck, bring a healthy dish to pass. Not only will you thank yourself for bringing something that’s better for you, but other guests will be delighted that they can enjoy your dish without feeling guilty afterward. Salad, fruit salad, roasted vegetables, and low-fat desserts are perfect for the health-conscious diner.

Limit your consumption of cheeses, gravy, salad dressings, and creamy sauces. These are loaded with calories, so use as little as possible. Don’t over-do it on the butter or whipped cream.

As a general rule of thumb, the more brightly colored a food is, the better it is for you. When in doubt of whether something at a holiday gathering is unhealthy, look for the color. Processed, starchy foods tend to be yellow or brown, while foods rich in vitamins and minerals will be green, orange, and red. The more color on your plate, the better.

Lastly, don’t deprive yourself during the holidays. They only come once a year. Just be conscious of what you’re ingesting, and try to follow these tips as a guideline to eating healthy during this holiday season.

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