8 Ways to Eat Better This Holiday Season

Dec. 5, 2019

‘Tis the season for happiness and cheer. ‘Tis also the season for cookies, pies and heaping plates of holiday favorites. 

People often assume they will put on a few pounds around the holidays, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Eating healthy during the holidays doesn’t have to mean forgoing your favorite pie or only eating boring salads. 

BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina’s Patricia Graham, a health coach, says being prepared can help you eat healthy throughout the holiday season. 

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1. Plan ahead 

One of the easiest ways to not overeat is to plan in advance. This will allow you to think about which foods you want to indulge in and which foods you want to eat less of. If you’re doing the cooking, find alternatives to your holiday favorites. You can find healthy recipe ideas here

2. Pack food for traveling 

An easy way to eat unhealthy food is to grab fast food on the road or in airports. Graham always recommends her clients pack their own snacks, when possible. If you’re flying, you can still pack healthy snacks. Check the TSA website to see the full list of food allowed. 

3. Look at the labels 

If you aren’t able to pack your own snacks for traveling, just pay attention to the calorie labels the restaurant provides. This is often found on the menu. Making a healthy choice on the road will give you more room for that special pie wherever you are going. 

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4. Go for the pie 

Or maybe you prefer the mac and cheese. Whatever your favorite dish is, go for it. But save calories on other foods you won’t be craving the rest of the year. 

5. Think small 

If you want to try it all, go for smaller portions. Split a slice with your kid or partner. Skip the creamy dressing in favor of the healthier option. Leave off sauces. Making smaller swaps can have a bigger impact that you may think. Every little choice you make to eat something healthier can help, Graham says. For a clear breakdown on how to portion your plate, check out www.ChooseMyPlate.gov.

6. Drink water 

An easy way to cut unnecessary calories is to avoid sugary drinks. Swapping in water will help. 

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7. Fill your plate with vegetables 

Make the vegetables take up the largest real estate on your plate and eat them first. By the time you’re full, you will have eaten mostly healthy veggies and less unhealthy stuff. 

8. Get in your steps 

If you’re traveling away from your gym, just add extra steps into your day where you can. Park at the end of the parking lot. Go for a few extra laps around the store. You don’t have to plan to run a 5K, but take a break to get moving, whenever and however you can. 

The holidays are about finding joy with your family and loved ones. Enjoy your time but keep moving forward, Graham says. When you eat better, you feel better, and when you feel better, you’ll be up for doing more with the ones you love. 

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