10 Survival Tips for Healthy Holiday Eating - YMCA of Southwestern Indiana

10 Survival Tips for Healthy Holiday Eating

The air is getting crisp and the leaves are changing colors in the Midwest, and that means holiday season is here! With all of the traditional holiday meals, treats, and parties this time of year, the holiday eating season can wreak havoc on our health. Avoid holiday weight gain with these savvy strategies for healthy holiday eating:

  • Plan Ahead – Visualize what you will do at the event or party before you arrive and focus more on good conversation instead of eating.
  • Don’t Starve Yourself – Eat a healthy snack or meal before an occasion involving food to help curb hunger so that you don’t binge on less healthy options.
  • Bring Your Own – Offer to bring an appetizer or healthy dish to serve so that you know there is something “safe” you can enjoy without the guilt.
  • Buddy Up – Make a goal with a friend so that you’re accountable to someone other than yourself!
  • Exercise – Sign up for a 5K, a fitness walk, or other fitness event to keep you motivated on exercise and to keep your body moving.
  • Limit Leftovers – Make your home a safe haven and send your guests home with the unhealthier leftovers to help limit temptations after entertaining.
  • Make Smart Substitutions – Practice healthier versions of your favorite dishes by cutting the sugar in recipes or replacing unhealthy vegetable oils and refined flours with healthier alternatives.
  • Choose Beverages Wisely – Limit alcohol, which is high in calories and is often combined with added sugar in the forms of fruit punch, juice, and egg nog.
  • Maintain Perspective – A single day of unhealthy choices doesn’t need to be a slippery slope of holiday overindulgence. If you overindulge, put it behind you and make better choices the next day.
  • Celebrate the True Meaning of Each Holiday – Focus more on friends and family, and celebrating the true spirit of this season than on the foods that are served.