This guest post was written by Mandy Enright, MS, RDN, RYT, a registered dietitian and fitness instructor based at the Jersey Shore.
While the holidays can be joyous, all those parties can derail even the best healthy eating plans. But you can practice moderation and enjoy the festivities. Just follow the 3 P’s: Planning, Placement and Portions.
Make a plan — and check it twice
Don’t show up to the party on an empty stomach. Make sure your meal before the party contains fiber-rich ingredients like fruit, veggies, whole grains, nuts and seeds. Lean proteins will also help keep you feeling satisfied. If you’re worried there won’t be enough healthy options at the party, bring your own to share. Check out the American Heart Association’s Holiday Healthy Eating Guide for more tips.
Pick your place – and don’t get too close for comfort
Cozying up to the food table can lead to picking and overeating, especially when we’re chatting it up. If you’re talking to friends, steer the conversation (and yourselves) away from the food. If you’re at a sit-down meal, give yourself a little distance from the dishes you want to avoid. Offer to help clean up after a meal to reduce the temptation to go back for more.
Perfect your portions
You may not be able to control what’s being served, but you can watch your portion sizes. Try these tips:
- Stick to the one-plate rule at meals and buffets (or two small plates).
- Once you fill up your plate, move away from the buffet.
- Aim to get half that plate full of vegetables and fruit.
- Focus on seasonal foods and special recipes instead of everyday options.
- If you’re with a friend, share items you want to taste instead of taking a full portion.
The holidays are a time of enjoyment and a little bit of indulgence. Enjoy a small taste and move on. Try that same philosophy come January and throughout the year for healthy eating strategies that can get you through every season.
What’s your top healthy eating tip for the holidays?
Written by Mandy Enright, MS, RDN, RYT, a registered dietitian and fitness instructor based at the Jersey Shore. Read her bio here.