Eight Dietary Tips to Keep Holiday Eating Healthy

It’s that time of the year. The holidays are in full swing and it seems that everywhere you turn there’s fudge, cookies, candies, and pies — oh my! There’s no end to the sweets and treats that flood the market from Halloween through Valentine’s Day. Then there’s the family gatherings, corporate parties, get-togethers with friends, and food-related gifts. 

It’s difficult to stick to your wholesome diet when you’re faced with so much temptation, yet research shows that the extra weight that you might from holiday indulgences is not readily lost in the following spring or summer.

At 1st Choice Urgent Care, Dr. Yadwinder Kang is passionate about helping men and women in Bakersfield, California stay healthy all year long. That’s why he offers his top eight tips to keep your healthy diet from getting tangled in the tinsel. 

Go big on veggies

Most holiday parties and office gatherings have a vegetable tray somewhere among the platters of meatballs, cheese and crackers, and desserts. Make sure to load your plate with a variety of colorful and fiber-packed peppers, carrots, cucumbers, broccoli, cauliflower, and tomatoes. Vegetables are satisfyingly crunchy, filling, and keep you from reaching for something less healthy.

Eat before you eat 

Grab an apple before the gala or a handful of nuts on your way to the family gathering. By arriving with a little something on your stomach, you’re less inclined to overload your plate — and your stomach.

Choose well

Decide in advance that you’re going to indulge during the holidays, but be strategic. Don’t use the time of the year to include run-of-the-mill desserts or foods in your routine. Plan for the truly special foods, and choose your treats well. 

Share

There’s no better time than the holidays to find a friend at the party who’d love to split some of the rich, delicious foods with you. Share half of your slice of cake, divide the divinity candy, and cut the casserole in two. You still get to taste and experience the special foods without eating all of the calories and fat on your own.

Savor

The holidays are indeed special. Friends and loved ones draw close and food is inevitably a vital part of the culture, nostalgia, and the memories that make the togetherness so warm and wonderful. So savor your food.

Enjoy special dishes you don’t get to have year-round, but stop when you’re full and save the rest for another day. It will be there when you get hungry again later.

Keep healthy snacks close at hand

When your co-worker shows up with his wife’s holiday cookies or the chocolatier is pushing samples at the mall, having your own healthy snacks close by can help you defend against temptation.

Don’t drink your calories

By opting out of the frappuccinos, eggnog, peppermint white chocolate lattes, sherbet punches, and fruity cocktails, you can save your calories for a truly special holiday dessert or treat.

Limit alcohol

It goes without saying that alcohol adds calories that can rack up quickly during a party or outing with friends. It can also lower your inhibitions and wreck your resolve not to eat junk food. Decide ahead of time how many drinks you’ll have, and stick to it. You can also slow down your alcohol consumption by drinking a glass of water between each beer, cocktail, or glass of wine. 

Bonus tip: Move more

It’s not diet-related, but it goes hand-in-hand with a healthy diet. The holiday season is a great time to up your game when it comes to exercise. It helps you stay strong through the winter months when colds and flu are rampant and fend off extra pounds from holiday sweets and treats. Look for ways to move more: a few extra minutes on the treadmill each day, a hike on the weekend, or a walk with a friend.

For help with all of your health needs during the holidays and beyond, schedule your appointment online at 1st Choice Urgent Care.

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