Tips to save your waist line during the holidays

The importance of portion control

A portion is how much food you eat in a sitting, for a meal, or snack. You’ve probably heard it over and over: the key to a healthy diet and a healthy weight is portion control. By eating smaller portions, you will consume fewer calories throughout the day. However, this can be a challenge during the holiday season because you there are tons of big, tasty family meals that aren’t always kind to your waistline.

Tips for portion control

At home:

  • Use smaller dishes. Use a 9-inch plate instead of an 11- or 12-inch plate.
  • Check out all the available food choices before deciding what to put on your plate.
  • Don’t keep serving platters of food on the table. Instead, put food on a plate before bringing it to the table.

At restaurants:

  • Ask for half or smaller portions and a take-home container for the rest of your meal. Then, pack half of your meal to go.
  • Resist all the extras, or ask for them on the side.
  • If you’re having dessert, share.

The importance of eating more fruits and vegetables during the holiday season

Almost everyone needs to eat more fruits and vegetables. A growing body of research indicates that fruits and vegetables play a critical part in optimal health. They’re even more critical during the holiday season because most holiday parties offer a multitude of desserts, calorie-heavy appetizers, and nutrient-deficient snacks and chips.

Tips for incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your holiday meals

  • Determine the ideal number of fruits and vegetables you should have in a day.
  • A great way to add to your healthy meal is to pair it with a piece of fruit.
  • Eat fruits and vegetables as a snack at home, on your way to a holiday party, or on the go.
  • For more tips on how to incorporate more fruits and veggies into your diet, visit:

The importance of eating before a party

A well-balanced meal not only gives you energy throughout the day, but it’s also linked to health benefits like weight control and improved performance. Studies show that eating a healthy meal is key to:

  • Maintaining a nutritionally balanced diet that is high in nutrients, vitamins, and minerals
  • Improving concentration and performance in the work environment
  • Enhancing strength and endurance in physical activities
  • Lowering cholesterol

Common misconceptions

Think skipping a meal before a party saves you calories? Skipping meals is a common misconception. When you skip a meal, by the time you get to the event, you’ll be craving calorie- dense foods. And, by the end of the night, you’ll have eaten double the number of calories you would have if you’d eaten a small, healthy meal before arriving.

Tips for healthy eating during the holiday season:

  • Plan ahead
  • Eat fruits or veggies before heading to a party
  • Pack a healthy snack and take it on the go

What to eat

A healthy meal should contain a variety of foods. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low- or non-fat dairy, and lean protein are all excellent choices.

  • Some quick and healthy choices include:
  • A fresh salad with a whole-wheat roll
  • A smoothie made with fruit and low- or non-fat yogurt
  • Raw veggies with low- or non-fat dressing
  • A slice of whole-wheat bread with peanut butter and a piece of fruit or glass of water
  • Low-fat yogurt and a bit of fruit
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