Hard as we try, we’ve all fallen victim to the enticing holiday foods that surround us throughout the season. It’s easy to overeat, or eat less wisely— throughout these months. We don’t blame you for that— the holidays are meant to be delicious. But if you’re been trying to eat better and don’t want to give up your progress for a few huge and delicious meals (and a lot of tasty leftovers), these holiday hacks for eating healthier are your go-to!
Go light on the wine (and choose red):
Alcohol is a surefire way to pack in the calories, as a 5 oz glass of wine falls around 120 calories. Opting for red is the better choice, as it contains more antioxidants and some studies point to it being better for the heart.
Turn your plate into a colorful work of art:
Your holiday dinner plate should look like a beautiful bouquet of flowers with a few browning leaves. Color signifies nutrients— this is why darker vegetables, grains, and fruits are considered healthier for you. Find colorful greens and other veggies, and fill most of your plate with this and meat if you’re choosing to eat it. You can fill in the cracks with potatoes, bread, stuffing— but this method ensures you’re not overdoing the carb-heavy sides.
Opt for oil-based salad dressings instead of cream:
Oil-based dressings often contain heart-healthy fats and tend to be lower in calories and fats than their cream-based cousins. Ranch is delicious, but balsamic will probably go better with the other foods on your plate!
Skip the cheese:
This is one of the hardest parts for us when it comes to ANY meal, let alone the holidays. Cheese, however delicious it may be, is a quick way to dose up on fat, which, in moderation, isn’t bad for you, but when piled onto sides and folded into potatoes and pastas, it starts to add up.
Double up on your vegetables:
This actually has the potential to be easier during the holidays— vegetables are the most underrated side dish (yet always available), so we’d bet there will be plenty of veggies for you to choose from! Filling between ⅓ and ½ of your plate with vegetables guarantees you plenty of nutrients and saves you a few hundred calories in starchier sides, too.
Pace yourself— you can always go back for seconds.
You don’t have to overload your plate the first time around— chances are, unless your holiday gathering has a few unexpected guests, there is plenty of food to go around. You can always get second servings of whatever you’d like later on!
Have a glass of water with your meal.
Drinking water with your meal is an easy way to fill up faster, and it also aids in digestion. Win-win!
Fill up at dinner:
Eat enough at dinner to make you feel like you really don’t need to go crazy at dessert. No matter how much you eat at dinner, you’re probably still going to want a piece of the pumpkin pie when it comes out— and that’s fine! But filling up on the healthier options will ensure you’re getting the nutrition you need and will keep you from going back from seconds or thirds during dessert when you really don’t need them.