Healthy Holiday Eating

holiday turkey

Holidays should be a time of joy . . . not overindulgence.

Debbie Davis, a registered and licensed dietitian-nutritionist and certified diabetes educator from Doylestown Health's Nutrition Services, provides some tips for staying on track during the holidays.

"The holiday season can be a time of festive stress. It is important that you nourish body and soul by spending time with those that you love and who love you, having fun and choosing those foods that are best for you," says Debbie. "De-stress your holiday season by keeping up with your regular exercise routine, choosing "mostly" good foods and enjoying a guilt-free magical holiday."

Eating healthy foods does not have to mean depriving yourself of holiday fare, Debbie recommends "making room not only for fruits, vegetables and whole grains, but also for small portions of your favorite holiday treats."

Stay Hydrated

Before you entertain or leave the house for a get-together, try to prepare earlier in the day by being well hydrated and well nourished. This may seem counterintuitive, but it is common to confuse hunger with thirst. You may be likely to eat more when faced with a buffet table or tray of cookies if you have not had enough water to drink during the day.

Eating regular meals prior to the party can prevent you from arriving hungry and help you to choose sound food options, keeping the focus on the company of family and friends rather than the food.

Here are a few tips to help keep the holidays healthy:

Party Time

  • Don"t skip meals. This way you won't be tempted to overdo at the party.
  • Start with a nourishing breakfast, have a light lunch, then a small snack or salad shortly before the event.
  • Conversation is calorie-free, but move away from the buffet so you won't be tempted to eat while you talk.
  • Scope out the buffet before you go up to pre-plan your selections.
  • Use smaller plates if available when at a buffet-style party.
  • Start by filling your plate with vegetables and salad before going to the entrees and desserts.
  • Watch your portion sizes and take small "tastes" of high calorie dishes.
  • Balance "party calories" with more physical activity.
  • Remember that beverages contain calories as well. Alcoholic beverages, home-made punches, and chocolaty beverages tend to have sneaky calories.

At the Office

  • Stash healthy foods in your desk at work so you're not as tempted by the treats piling up.
  • Try to keep communal office goodies out of view.

At Home

  • Include lots of fiber in your diet by eating fruits, vegetables and whole grains. High-fiber foods are high in volume and will satisfy hunger, but are lower in calories.
  • Choose your indulgences wisely. Try not to waste calories on foods you can have any time of the year. Instead, pick items that are special and unique to the season.

A Healthy Weigh

Need guidance managing your weight? An individualized healthy eating program, A Healthy Weigh incorporates "real" food into a plan customized to each person's nutritional needs. It begins with an initial consultation during which the dietitian will determine the individual nutrition requirements. This is followed by Phase 1, which focuses on the basics of attaining a healthy weight and well-being. Phase 2 builds on Phase 1, with in-depth nutrition and health-related training, recipes and mindfulness inspiration.

Learn more about A Healthy Weigh

About Doylestown Health Nutrition Services

Doylestown Health Nutrition Services offers personalized nutrition plans for those with a current medical condition or those interested in preventive health and weight loss. Doylestown Health Nutrition Services specializes in nutrition therapy for diabetes, weight management, cardiovascular disease, digestive and eating disorders, pregnancy, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue.

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