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Navigating the Feast: A Guide to Eating Healthy During the Holidays

The holiday season is a time for joy, celebration, and togetherness, often accompanied by delicious but not-so-healthy foods. It's all too easy to abandon your healthy eating habits during this time of year. However, it is possible to enjoy the festivities while still making nutritious choices. In this blog post, we'll explore some strategies to help you eat healthy during the holidays without feeling like you're missing out on all the scrumptious holiday fare.




Plan Ahead


One of the keys to maintaining healthy food choices during the holidays is preparation. Plan your meals and snacks in advance, and consider these tips:


  • Before heading to holiday gatherings, eat a small meal or snack at home packed with protein and/ or fiber to curb your appetite.

  • Offer to bring a healthy dish to share. This way, you can guarantee there's at least one nutritious option available at the party.



 

Practice mindful eating


Part of eating mindfully is appreciating your very favorite dishes. It’s essential to having a healthy relationship with food, even when the food you love is something you might not consider healthy. There’s a reason why we don’t eat broccoli and brussel sprouts all day. Eating is more than just the delivery of nutrients and holiday food is often tied to strong cultural and emotional connections. So yes, Aunt Barbara’s mashed potatoes or Lola’s ensaymada can stay on the menu. Here are some tips for mindful eating:



  • Savor your food by eating slowly and sipping water between bites. This can help you recognize when you're full and prevent overeating.

  • Pay attention to the flavors, textures, and aromas of your food.

  • Eat without distractions, such as watching TV or using your phone.

  • Choose what you love! Don’t eat out of obligation, tradition or sheer habit.


 

Stay Hydrated


Sometimes, your body might confuse thirst with hunger. Drinking water throughout the day can help you stay hydrated and avoid unnecessary snacking. Additionally, consider having a glass of water before each meal to help control your appetite.


 

Stay Active


The holidays are all about connection. Why not connect with your family and friends by doing an activity together?


  • Consider taking a walk with the family after your meal. After a meal, blood sugar levels tend to rise. Walking can help prevent or reduce the post-meal spikes in blood sugar by aiding in the prompt uptake of glucose by the muscles.

  • Swap out holiday parties at restaurants for physical activities like a hike at Red Rock Canyon or ice skating at the Rock Rink in Downtown Summerlin.


Eating healthy during the holidays doesn't mean you have to deprive yourself of the festive foods you love. It's all about making mindful choices, practicing moderation, and focusing on balance. Happy Holidays!

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