3 Keys to a Healthy Holiday

Angela Lemond, RDN, CSP, LD

The holidays are such a great time to catch-up with extended family and friends. But too many parties, cocktails and mindless eating can cause weight gain that may not go away in the new year. Here are three key things you can do to maintain balance even with lots of party hopping.

Eat Strategically. We all know that when we get busy, we have a tendency to wait too long to eat. But this is the very thing that puts us at risk of overeating. Eat a protein-rich breakfast, a lunch within 4 hours and a moderate dinner after that. Any meals spaced longer than 4 hours apart should have a snack in-between. Always have a snack bag of nuts and a handful of dried fruit for a compact and balanced combo that can easily sit in your purse for those times you have a last minute meeting, get stuck in traffic or have a last minute thing that throws you off your original plan. If you don’t make time to eat at regular intervals, you will most likely overeat when you get to that party filled with high calorie treats.

Take a Healthy Appetizer. How do you guarantee you’ll have a smart choice when you are at a holiday get together? Bring one! That is one of the tricks among nutrition experts. Pinterest is filled with fun ways to organize fruits and vegetables in a festive and fun way.

Keep moving. Make new traditions that increase your energy out by doing annual things like a holiday 5K, a walking tour of holiday lights or an annual ice skating outing with the family. Bottom line, balance the extra treats with some extra movement. Even shoveling the snow of the driveway can be an opportunity to get movement in when you are juggling the out of town guests with the last minute shopping!

With a little forethought, you can enjoy the holidays in a balanced way. For every food-related activity you attend, make it a goal to add one active activity to your calendar.