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Healthful Hacks for Holiday Spreads and Snacks

The holiday season – with all its delicious, calorie-laden temptations – is upon us. It’s never too early to think about ways you can avoid that unwanted gift to your waistline: extra pounds from your “season’s eatings.”

How do you eat healthy amid all the feasting? Here are a few healthful hacks:

No holidays from sensible eating

Maybe you can’t control the menus during the holidays, but you can manage your intake with some simple reminders:

  • Stick with reasonable meal times.
  • Watch the carbs. Go easy on potatoes, breads, and sweets. Have small amounts or none at all.
  • No skipping meals before a feast. If you do, you’ll be hungrier and more likely to overdo it.
  • If you do overeat, go back to healthy eating for your next meal and stick with it.
Rebuff the buffet

A big spread of holiday fare does not mean you have to overeat. Just apply these simple principles:

  • Pick sensible portions of a few of the foods you like best and then call it quits.
  • Vegetables can curb cravings. Start with them and you’ll likely eat less overall.
  • Eat slowly. After 20 minutes of eating, your brain is more likely to sense “fullness.”
  • Watch (or avoid) the alcohol, and always eat if you drink.
Treat yourself – in moderation

Select the holiday food “faves” you crave and enjoy reasonable portions, taking into account what (and how much) you are eating overall.

Hustle and bustle

Physical activity can be your secret weapon to avoid holiday weight gain. It can help you work off some of what you’ve eaten. And it helps relieve holiday stress. After the holiday meal, suggest that the family go for a walk.

Rest well, ye merrymakers

Getting plenty of sleep can help you avoid overindulging. Sleep-deprivation triggers cravings for sugary and fatty foods. Getting 7- 8 hours of sleep each night can equip you to better resist temptation.

If you have diabetes, keep close tabs on your blood sugar. If you take medicine to control diabetes, ask your doctor if the amount needs to be adjusted during the holidays.

Moderation and awareness are gifts that keep on giving. Remember, you can sample and enjoy the best parts of the season without taking a holiday from healthy eating habits … and paying for it in an unwelcome weight gain.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website:

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