10 Tips for Smart Holiday EatingThe holidays are a time of joy and happiness, family, and friends. In addition, they are undoubtedly the most food-intensive time of the year since most holiday activities and events center around food. Remember, food is just one component of the holidays, so try not to become food-focused! Remain balanced and moderate this season so you don’t have an upward battle in the New Year.

Here are 10 tips to help you eat smart this holiday season:

  1. Eat only when you’re hungry.
    And remember the importance of balance – protein, carbohydrates, and fat.
  2. Reconcile yourself to the fact that you will probably not lose weight during the holidays.
    Trying to lose weight is usually a set up to fail. But, you can remain committed to healthy balanced eating and find time to exercise.
  3. Don’t starve yourself during the day because you have a party that evening.
    You can choose to eat lighter during the day, but do not skip meals. That will cause your metabolism to slow, and you will probably overeat at the party.
  4. Be aware of serving size.
    Especially if you’re enjoying a buffet during the holidays. Take small portions and only eat the food you truly like. There’s no need to heap your plate full. You can always return for more.
  5. Drink plenty of water.
    Remember that alcoholic beverages contain many empty calories. Avoid consuming alcohol on an empty stomach. It may impair your judgment and lead to poor food choices and overeating.
  6. Try not to rely on food to meet other needs.
    If you feel shy or awkward in a social situation, don’t rely on eating to avoid interaction. It’s far better to simply leave an uncomfortable social situation than remain and consume unneeded food.
  7. Mentally prepare yourself for holiday temptations.
    Try to commit to the idea of having only one of any item. If coworkers bring cookies or candy to the office, enjoy a small amount, then go on with your day.
  8. If you always overeat in social situations, ask yourself why.
    Is it really enjoyment of food, or do you use it to quell nervousness? If so, look for healthier alternatives to combat social anxiety.
  9. Have snack foods that aren’t full of sugar.
    Use veggies instead of bread or crackers and serve them with salsa or hummus. Or, rather than traditional Chex mix, mix together some almonds, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, multi-grain Cheerios, and coconut pieces.
  10. Have a plan to lose weight after the holidays.
    The average person gains a pound between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. You can get back on track by making small, realistic changes. Don’t set yourself up for failure.