The holiday season is here again, and so is the delicious food that accompanies it. Indulging over the holidays is a must in my opinion, but lingering leftovers and frequent gatherings centered around food are obvious obstacles that we all face when trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle throughout the holiday season. This post is centered on tips for a healthier holiday season.
Healthy Holiday Tip #1: Eat an apple just before your main meal begins.
Eating a whole apple 15 minutes before a meal may help you consumer fewer calories overall! In 2007, researchers at Penn State University found that people who ate an apple 15 minutes before lunch consumed nearly 190 calories fewer than those that snacked on something else, or ate lunch on an empty stomach. Apples contain soluble fiber which can help you feel fuller, longer. Not an apple fan? Pears have soluble too!
Healthy Holiday Tip #2: Fill half your appetizer plate with fruits and veggies.
We know from MyPlate that filling half of every plate with fruits and veggies is a guideline to a balanced, healthy diet. Keep that tradition going during holiday gatherings by loading your plate with carrot sticks, apple slices, bell peppers, broccoli, berries, and other goodies from fresh fruit and veggie platters.
Healthy Holiday Tip #3: Have a light meal in advance of a larger one.
Keep meals light leading up to the main event! If turkey dinner with all of the fixings starts at 5pm, enjoy a light lunch like this Pear, Blue Cheese, and Walnut Salad hours before. Not eating before a big meal can lead to overeating. Having a light meal that’s nutrition focused is a good way to balance out a high calorie one.
Healthy Holiday Tip #4: Take a brisk walk before or after a meal.
In addition to balancing big meals with light ones, you can balance extra calories from a large meal by burning some off through exercise. Maintain your regular exercise routine throughout the season, and pay special attention to the actual holiday. Initiate a family Turkey Trot or Reindeer Run to get your heart rate up and burn off calories before the main holiday event, or take a brisk walk after your meal (and before dessert!).
Happy Holidays from all of us at Stemilt!