It can be easy to overindulge over the holidays. There are big family dinners, parties with tables of snack food, cookie swaps and stockings full of candy. But with planning, portion control and mindfulness, you can still eat healthy for the holidays—setting you on the track for healthy eating all year long.
Practice Mindful Eating
Mindful eating, or paying attention to how and when you eat, can make a big difference in what you eat. Instead of eating or snacking on autopilot, ask yourself, “Am I really hungry?” Try these tips to eat mindfully:
- Don’t show up at a party starving. Have a healthy snack at home before going out, if needed.
- Start off your meal with smaller portions. You can always go back for more, but you may not need to.
- Don’t stand next to the buffet or tables piled with hors d’oeuvres, then you’ll be less tempted to snack without thinking.
- Eat slowly. Focus on how your food tastes and smells. Enjoy it.
- Check in with yourself throughout the meal. Are you eating because you’re still hungry, or because the food is there?
Focus on Balanced Eating
While it may be tempting to indulge during the holidays and put off your health reset until January, eating mindfully and healthfully throughout these weeks will better position you to reach your goals. Plan meals that include sources of lean protein, whole grain and fresh fruits and vegetables may improve your mood, your sleep, and your energy levels.
If you do overeat (or drink too much) at one party, don’t be too hard on yourself about it — and don’t use it as an excuse to backslide into old habits. Learning to practice better eating habits is a process, and every day is a new day to eat better.
Don’t miss our Holiday Food Swaps infographic to learn more about healthy holiday eating.