The holidays are a time for celebrating and enjoying family, friends, and delicious food. But all that indulgence can add up quickly if we’re not careful—especially when it comes to our waistline! This doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the fun of holiday feasting. With these tips for healthy eating this holiday season, you can enjoy your favorite dishes without sacrificing nutrition or your health.
Healthy Feasting Basics
One of the best ways to make sure you keep your diet in check is by focusing on balanced meals. Aim to fill up half of your plate with vegetables, a quarter with lean protein sources like fish or chicken and the other quarter with starchier items like whole grains or sweet potatoes. Cutting down on processed foods and added sugars is also important. When it comes to drinks, try to limit your intake of sugary sodas and opt for water or herbal tea instead.
It can be tough knowing which ingredients should stay and which should go when making traditional recipes healthier. Using substitutes like Greek yogurt in place of sour cream, low-fat cheese instead of regular cheese, and whole wheat flour rather than all-purpose flour are great ways to cut back on fat and calories without sacrificing taste. You can also experiment with healthy oils like olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, or nut butter for baking instead of butter or margarine.
How To Be Gluten Free and Still Enjoy Holiday Meals
Those with gluten sensitivities can still make their favorite holiday dishes without compromising on taste. Instead of traditional wheat flour, use gluten-free options such as almond or coconut flour. You can also substitute quinoa, buckwheat, or amaranth for other grains like oats or barley. If you’re baking your own treats, make sure to check the ingredients list to ensure they don’t contain any hidden sources of gluten.
Alcoholic beverages are a staple at many holiday gatherings—but it’s easy to overindulge if you’re not careful! Choose drinks with fewer calories and sugar whenever possible, such as wine spritzers, vodka soda or light beer. Make sure to drink plenty of water in between each alcoholic beverage and don’t forget to pace yourself—sipping on your drinks slowly will help you avoid drinking too much.
Avoid These Foods
In addition to limiting processed foods, it’s important to stay away from unhealthy fats like trans fats and saturated fats found in fried foods and baked goods. Refined carbohydrates should also be avoided since they can spike blood sugar levels and lead to weight gain. Additionally, limit the amount of salt that is added when cooking dishes—too much sodium can cause fluid retention leading to bloating.
Be Sure to Include These Items to Your Holiday Meals
Include plenty of colorful fruits and vegetables, such as peppers, carrots, kale, apples and oranges. Add lean sources of protein like fish, eggs and poultry. Whole grains like quinoa or brown rice can also make a great addition to your holiday menu. And don’t forget about healthy fats—avocado, nuts and seeds are all good choices when you’re preparing your meals.
The holidays are the perfect time for gathering with family and friends for some delicious feasting. But it doesn’t have to be an unhealthy affair! By following these tips for healthy eating this holiday season, you can enjoy all your favorite dishes without sacrificing nutrition or your health. With just a few simple swaps, you can make any meal healthier and more enjoyable. Happy feasting!
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