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4 Easy Healthy Eating Tips for the Holidays

4 Easy Healthy Eating Tips for the Holidays

The holidays are officially here and with them comes the feasts, dinners, brunches, and luncheons — along with the dreaded holiday weight gain. D’Youville is here to help you avoid needing to add ‘Lose weight’ to your New Year’s resolution list.

We caught up with Kathy Border EdD, a registered dietitian and assistant professor of dietetics at D’Youville who offered some easy healthy eating tips for you to follow during the holidays.

“There’s a three-country study that was published in 2016 that said weight gain can occur after any significant holiday and that the average is an extra two pounds,” Border said. “There are plenty of tips to help keep off the extra pounds.”

Don’t Skip Meals

Saving your appetite for a big holiday party or feast? Don’t. Skipping meals during the day may result in overeating later. Be sure to include fruits, veggies, and whole grains in your meals. Fiber-rich foods will satisfy your hunger and are lower in calories.

“A sample breakfast could be digging into overnight oats made with your choice of low-fat milk and a fresh orange. A cup of minestrone soup loaded with legumes, greens, and whole grain pasta, and topped with a sprinkling of cheese makes for a great lunch,” added Border. “Keeping dinner simple so you can still include some holiday treats at the evening party is easy. Lean protein like broiled fish or chicken along with steamed vegetables and brown rice are perfect examples to keep those meals healthy.”

Eat Smaller Portions

With everyone showing off their cooking and baking skills, there’s never a shortage of tasty dishes. “Holiday meals can often consist of large portions and party snacks can be unlimited due to your generous party hosts,” Border said.

Make efforts to use smaller sized plates and load it up with the fresh veggies and fruits. “Enjoy smaller sized portions of those favorite holiday dishes that are higher in calories, as well as party appetizers. If you’re eyeing up that dessert — split a slice of pie with a friend,” she added.

Take Time to Savor the Season!

It’s hard not to over-eat when all that food is staring you in the face. Border says holiday activities that aren’t focused on a big meal are a great alternative. “Spend more time visiting with friends and relatives, singing carols, volunteering or other fun activities to shift the focus from eating to doing!”

“When enjoying meals with family and friends, keep in mind to eat slowly and savor every bite, and before you go back for seconds wait 10 minutes to see if you really are still hungry,” offered Border.

Keep Moving

Not everyone loves going to the gym to get a workout but there are many ways, even on a cold day, to get some physical activity. Border offers some of her family’s favorite activities. “After dinner you can throw on a pair of skates or go caroling from door-to-door!”

Your own backyard or local park can offer some easy to do activities like sledding, snowshoeing, or making snow angels. “I am keeping my fingers crossed on that one,” said Border.

Indoor activities include dance parties, a game of charades, “or anything that keeps you out of the kitchen and snacking,” said Border. If you are already enrolled in exercise classes or visit the gym regularly, keep it up over the break. Take time for yourself and keep up your routine!

Following these easy healthy eating tips during the holidays can help you avoid that weight gain and head into the new year feeling great.


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