The Health Advocate

by Hannah Whittenly, The Health Advocate

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Maintaining your healthy eating routine during the holidays can be difficult when there are so many changes to your schedule that include an indulgence of holiday treats. Sometimes it may seem like the list of events, tasks, and holiday get togethers grows by the minute, leaving less and less time for daily life. In times like these, there are a few tips and tricks you can turn to in order to keep things simple, keep you on your healthy diet, but also give you the chance to indulge in holiday treats.

Plan Ahead

Planning meals ahead of time that you know you need to prepare is not only smart, it reduces the stress of having to get a meal out when you're short on time, and reduces the chance for bad food choices. One skillet meals, instant pot recipes, and anything that can cook itself while you get other tasks done is a great idea during the holidays.

Cut Carbs and Calories

At the end of the day no one wants to think about the carbs and calories they've taken in, especially hidden ones or those that come in the form of holiday indulgences. To give yourself room to enjoy the occasional unplanned holiday treat, cut carbs and calories where you can in the meals that you prepare at home. Swap out heavy carb and calorie ingredients for a light option, and enjoy.

Add More Produce to the Menu

Fresh fruit and vegetables often get left out of holiday menus, but it's easy to change that and add some produce focused dishes. Shop for ingredients for side dishes from the produce section and include them on the table for more variety this year. Doing this for both the meals that you are hosting, and those you attend and bring a dish to share.

Take Your Time

One of the biggest struggles people face when it comes to maintaining a healthy eating routine is timing and portion control. Because meal based events often occur at times that differ from our normal eating schedule, people often hold off eating, and then overeat as a result. Instead, maintain as regular an eating schedule as possible, even if that means eating before you attend a holiday event. Doing this will ensure you don't overeat or make unhealthy decisions. When you do eat out at an event, pace yourself, use a small plate to eat from, and take your time.

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