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Healthy Holiday Hacks

Carpenters Wellness Center | Nov 06, 2023

Read Carpenters Wellness Center’s full November newsletter on Healthy Lifestyle Choices.

‘Tis the season for family, festivity, and food. Added weight gain can easily creep up during the holidays if you don’t have a plan in place. This doesn’t mean you have to avoid all the foods you love during this time of the year. If you are mindful about food choices and portions, your favorite foods can avoid the naughty list.

Here are a few tips for healthy seasonal eating:

Prepare

  • Make a meal plan.
  • Write a grocery list and make sure it’s filled with plenty of fresh or frozen produce.
  • Prepare healthy snacks you can enjoy when cravings hit.

Choose healthy swaps

  • Use pumpkin or applesauce instead of oil in baked goods.
  • Use low-fat dairy instead of full-fat dairy in holiday dips.
  • Choose reduced-fat or fat-free cheeses for salads and casseroles.

Coping with holiday stress

Balancing the demands of the season may contribute to feelings of stress and being overwhelmed. Here are a few ways you can cope:

  • Pace yourself. Do not take on more responsibilities than you can handle.
  • Make a list and prioritize the important activities. This can help make holiday tasks more manageable.
  • Spend time with supportive and caring people.
  • Make time for yourself!

Manage portions

  • Don’t arrive at holiday gatherings hungry. You’re more likely to overeat if you do.
  • Grab a smaller sized plate. Fill it with fruits and veggies first.
  • Instead of filling your plate to the brim, take smaller, bitesized
    portions of your holiday favorites.

Eat wisely

  • Stop eating when you are full.
  • It takes about 20 minutes for your brain to realize you’re full, so eat slowly and mindfully.
  • Socialize away from the food tables to reduce unconscious nibbling.

Be a healthy trendsetter

  • Eat clean! Make roasted sweet potatoes instead of candied yams.
  • Bring a healthy dish to a potluck.
  • Share your healthy meal plans and recipes with family and friends.

The spirit of the season is not about overindulging. It is about being present during each moment and enjoying life with those you love. Fill your life with happiness by making healthy choices as you enjoy your seasonal traditions.

Sources: EatRight.org, MayoClinic.org, ClevelandClinic.org
Always consult your healthcare provider before starting a new diet.

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