10 Tips for Healthy Eating During the Holidays

10 Tips for Healthy Eating During the Holidays


Holiday Dinner

The Holidays are a time to enjoy friends, family, and food. And, believe it or not, you can enjoy all three without putting on those dreaded Holiday pounds by incorporating a little moderation with these sensible eating strategies:

  1.  Don’t go on an empty stomach 

    You may think you’re saving the extra calories, but this will likely lead to over-eating. Be sure to eat something before your event that is a good source of complex carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats, such as apple slices with peanut butter, string cheese, dried fruit & nuts, veggies & humus, or a slice of turkey and cheese on whole wheat bread or crackers

  2.  Use a smaller plate

    Using a salad or dessert plate instead of a large dinner plate will make it appear you are eating more than you truly are. This will also allow you to save a little room for dessert too!
  3. Budget your options

    Don’t feel like you have to try everything on the table. Scope out your choices and go for the foods you enjoy the most without overdoing it.
  4. Don’t skip the veggies

    Packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber, these make for great low-calorie sides or snacks to enjoy throughout the event – just watch out for the heavy sauces and dips that might be served along with them. Rule of thumb is to “make half your plate” vegetables, but veggie dishes aren’t always flourishing the table and so try bringing your own non-starchy vegetable dish to enjoy!
  5.  Stay hydrated

    Be sure to drink water throughout your meal and the event. If you are going to indulge in an alcoholic beverage, enjoy in moderation by sipping on water or juice between each alcoholic beverage.
  6.  Bring your own dish

    Everyone might not be aware you are focusing on control and moderation throughout the Holiday season. In order to know you have a healthy option to choose from, bring something that you can share with your loved ones!
  7. Split it up

    Ask someone to share half a dessert or dish with you rather than indulging in the whole thing. Another option would be to wrap up the other half and enjoy later!
  8. Watch out for fat and sodium

    Keep an eye out for those heavy creams, sauces, and seasonings that are often high in saturated fat and sodium. If you aren’t sure how a dish was prepared, just ask.
  9. Get moving

    Make it a tradition to go for a family walk or start a family tag football game. Not only will this help to burn some extra calories, but these can often be a great way to bond with family & friends!
  10. Remember what’s important - friends and family!

    Although food is an important part of the Holidays, don’t let it be the focus. Make sure you are taking full advantage of spending time with loved ones, laughing, and making memories.

As a RD working with clients to achieve and maintain healthy weight goals, I encourage portion control and moderation routinely, including during the Holiday season! Don’t let this time of year be an excuse to ditch all your efforts toward achieving your health goals. Continue to track your food intake, use portion control & moderation, and stay active!


Jenny Cutler is a registered dietitian at Mettler Center. Have a nutrition question? Ask the Expert or schedule a FREE 15-minute Meet the RD online or by calling (217) 356-6543.